DVD RvReview… Drive

Vroom vroom… start your engines, rev up and other such lame motoring puns – Ross McG gets round to reviewing Drive. Find out what he thought below. Beep Beep!!

Drive (five stars)

The anger spewed by fans of Drive after it was overlooked in last week’s Oscar nominations was almost as hilarious as the blind refusal of Academy members to acknowledge the film itself. If ardent supporters of Nicolas Winding Refn’s LA slice of piston-pumping pulp noir truly deemed it to be the coolest movie of last year, did they really want it to be recognised by the dependably out-of-touch Oscars? Or, even worse, win some? The potentially awful poster tagline for any re-release in the event of success didn’t bear thinking about: ‘Drive… the greatest motoring movie to win Best Picture since Driving Miss Daisy.’ Instead, the Academy is likely to garland silent film The Artist with the major gongs, yet talking is also largely absent from Drive, which relies on revving engines and Ryan Gosling’s piercing eyes to do its communicating.

He plays a stuntman/getaway driver forced into a violent cul-de-sac after a run-in with a crime boss (Albert Brooks, chillingly channelling his best Gene Hackman). Drive’s brilliance is based on Gosling’s wonderfully still performance, although it helps that he manages to look smooth even when wearing a ridiculous scorpion-emblazoned bomber jacket and Alan Partridge’s driving gloves. While Drive has obvious touchstones – Michael Mann’s Collateral is one, as is a similarly titled film with another Ryan (O’Neal) behind the wheel, 1978 heist flick The Driver – it has a dreamy feel all of its own, largely thanks to its musical interludes and a score from Cliff Martinez which out-synths the 80s. Drive’s ultimate top trump, however, is its refreshing openness: it unashamedly tries to be cool. And succeeds marvellously.

Verdict: An instant cult classic. Accused in some quarters of being a triumph of style over substance, but when the style is this good, who cares?

This review first appeared in the Metro newspaper

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One Response to “DVD RvReview… Drive”

  1. Amen, Brother – superb movie in every way.

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