Drive, directed by the great and powerful Nicolas Winding Refn, was released in 2011. The story surrounds a stunt driver (Ryan Gosling), who doubles as a getaway driver and one day finds himself in a pickle to rescue his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her child from a group of gangsters in Los Angeles. It is interesting to note that we never actually get to know the name of Ryan Goslings’ character; he is only referred to as the “kid” or the “driver”.
The positive aspects of this movie include its camerawork and cinematography. There are two major getaway sequences, which are both shot to perfection and brilliantly capture the technicalities and thrill of high-speed getaway driving in the bustling metropolis that as Los Angeles. In that regard, we are also treated to series of ensemble shots that beautifully capture the vibe of the city of angels; from its glistening skyscrapers, to its gritty neighborhoods. Ryan Goslings’ character also wears a killer white jacket that I would love to own myself. I wouldn’t classify Drive as a pure action movie. It has its moments in the form of a few quick bursts of action, but for the most part the film focuses on the development of a character who is trying to choose a different path for himself.
As much I have praised Drive, it is by no stretch of the imagination a perfect film. The dialogue is choppy, not memorable, and un-interesting. There are interactions between characters that contain awkwardly long pauses that seem too far fetched from how humans actually interact with one another. Ryan Goslings’ character also never really seemed to be in any danger; we never saw him struggle to do anything he put his mind to. Plus, he seemed immune to any sort of pain. The rest of the characters had minimal development. Their back-stories were never fleshed out, and they weren’t given much to say that drew us in to their stories as passive listeners. The end of the movie was also anti-climatic, and was missing a great getaway or combat sequence that would have made it memorable.
In short, Drive is a bit of a forgettable movie. Much to my surprise, it has a rotten tomatoes rating of 92%. Can someone explain this to me? Is there something about this film that just went completely over my head? Though I applaud the visual aspects of Drive, I am unimpressed with its character development, ending and dialogue.