Monday, September 26, 2011

ReviewsByJames: Drive (2011)

9 out of 10 stars

Ryan Gosling stars in this not-so-advertised-as-a-gangster movie, DRIVE. He is quickly becoming one of the most electrifying actors in Hollywood today. It’s great to see him trounce as the heartthrob actor as he played on the popular movie, "The Notebook". Drive did not even come close to being “mooshy” and was far more interesting. The film flourishes on Gosling’s excellent performance. He is nothing short of enthralling to watch. As an action hero, he makes other guys look like a whimpering dog with his tail between his legs in comparison. In other words, he was so epically awesome, and absolutely sells the driver character.

One thing that stands out in this movie is the beautiful cinematography that truly envelopes the audience in every frame of the film. The high-adrenaline car chase scenes are energetically shot and breathtaking. I have been to Los Angeles many times but director Nicolas Winding Refn’s use of the camera brilliantly captures the city’s stunning skyline. There have been many movies shot in Los Angeles, but Refn focused on turning something of an eye-sore, to something magnificent on the silver screen.

I must be honest that there were several scenes that were jaw-dropping. When you pretty much thought that something awesome was for sure was going to happen, the exact opposite occurs but was far more awesome. Refn relentlessly keeps the audience on their edge of their seats, and there’s no way to foretell what will happen next. Refn’s camera work really sold the character’s intentions and made you care about them. Although the movie did not contain a lot of dialogue, the expressions and body languages of the actors made up for what was absent. I prefer Gosling over Hugh Jackman (was called to play the part of Driver, but replaced). Gosling has that quiet part to him that in a snap of a finger, he puts all of his amazing acting talent into a scene that leaves you going, “whoa!”

The soundtrack had an 80's feel to it. Hell, even the font of the title credits were 80ish. All-in-all, it worked and fitted well with the film. You would probably expect some kind of uptempo hard rock with the guitars screaming at you when a chase scene emanates but that was not the case. It was smart and the soundtrack did not take anything away from the scenes. The action/dialogue/soundtrack all had a Torentino-like feel to it with a refreshing way.

Is this movie going to make people say they love it? Of course! Will people label it overrated and will be over-analyzed? Oh I’m sure. Will it start a cult following. Oh hell yeah!

It’s revitalizing and unpredictable. It’s a well made roller-coaster ride that leaves you wanting for more.

You’ll be amazed with the cinematography and the effort put in by the actors even when words are not spoken. This is what you call movie-art. Gosling showcased that he has what it takes to be an action star and I cannot wait to see him in another one.

I left the theaters satisfied and even had the need to buy a cool jacket like what the driver wears. That's how cool this movie is. And I might start wearing a toothpick in my mouth...uh..well maybe not. But its like when you were a kid and you learned about Superman, you wanted to be just like him. Now I'm wanting to be a badass like the driver. So yeah, go see this movie. I recommend it.



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