Sunday, July 10, 2016

Drive, He Said

Drive (2011) is a throwback to those great 70s car movies: the stars are stoical and silent, the mood is existential, and the cars are muscled.

It stars Ryan Gosling as the Driver (no-name lead characters are de rigueur in these movies - cf. Two-Lane Blacktop, The Driver). He will get you anywhere, wait five minutes while you carry out your caper, then take off - with or without you. Shades of the Transporter - which is not a 70s car movie, but never mind. The cute part is that he listens to the ballgame the whole time he's leading a high-speed chase to get away from the cops.

Gosling meets up with a pretty next-door neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and befriends her and her young son. When her husband (Oscar Isaac) gets out of prison, he turns out to be a pretty nice guy, even though he is kind of stepping on Gosling's budding romance. But he owes big money to the mob, and Gosling agrees to help him pull One Last Job. Which goes wrong, as they will. The last half is Gosling getting revenge and trying to ensure the safety of Mulligan and her son. Oh yes, it is very violent, too.

From the opening, with neon pink titles in an 80s script typeface (Mistral, maybe?) over a synthy score, we know we're getting a lot of 80s with our 70s. The LA night-time locations are very stylish, like Into the Night or To Live and Die in LA. We also get Ron Perlman as a Jewish mobster who runs an Italian restaurant, and Christina Hendricks as a heister. What I'm saying is, there's something for everyone.

At least for everyone who likes existential heist films with lots of muscle cars.

In conclusion, Gosling's day jobs are stunt car driver and auto mechanic. Guy has a real work ethic.

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