6 thoughts on “Review – Drive”

  1. I was very interested to see you guys’ take on this thing. I saw it two nights ago, and as I was watching, it felt like it hurt–like the experience of watching the film was causing me physical discomfort. Twenty seconds? Why are some these shots lasting 2 or 3 minutes?! I get it with the ’80s font and the ’80s music, but does the soundtrack have to shattering my ears the whole fucking time? As for student film flourishes, we all know that Driver represents the force that will make Cary Mulligan safe and ultimately sacrifice himself to remove the stain of violence from her life, but does he really have to walk around for the last third of the film wearing a white jacket literally STAINED WITH VIOLENCE? Or putting him in the prosthetic for no other reason than to evoke Michael Myers as he’s dispatching his enemies?
    All of that aside, I slowly talked myself into thinking I actually liked a lot of the film when I walked out and I still think it has some things to speak well for it. This may be student-filmy, but I like the very audacity that it has about not giving the audience much driving, or many movie stunts, or ditching the whole “the kid’s gonna be a great race car driver”. I also felt that the overall tediousness of long stretches of the film made the horrifying violence jump out that much more. I guess I’m not really defending the film, so much as I think that it created a space for me to reconcile the film I saw with my expectations based on the hype, and perhaps I enjoyed fighting with myself more than I enjoyed the movie itself.
    A friend of mine posted on Facebook that he saw the film in a theater full of sorority girls who thought they were going to see The Notebook with cars, and that they grumbled the whole way through what they saw instead. And yet, I think the film worked on me in a manipulative way similar to how those soapy pictures work on females, just speaking in masculine cliches. Or maybe I’ve just been teaching too much intro to film.

    1. I would have admired the audacity of the movie ditching any of the expected directions if it had then gone in a direction that was interesting and/or had a point.

      I really liked the opening sequence with the ultra-calm car chase, which showed what you usually don’t see in the movies: a wheelman who uses his wits to evade pursuit instead of highly-destructive stunt driving. The opening succeeded in adjusting my expectations to a more low-key, thoughtful crime movie.

      The movie goes from that really cool take on a heist and then meanders into an endless series of slick, stylish sequences that don’t really add up to much.

  2. Saw this last night, and I’m right there with you guys. People can talk about it defying conventions, or whatever, but as I saw it, it’s a heist movie that doesn’t want to be because it thinks it has something more profound to say, and it’s a character study that doesn’t want to be because it’s cooler to be a B-grade heist movie. In one sense, it succeeded, because it’s not very good at being either one, or even some combination of the two. Just a flat-line for me, and I’ve had people practically give me a Masters’ thesis on the concepts of Gosling’s character arc. With pauses that long, I suppose you could read just about anything into a scene that you wanted to.

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