Drive (2011)

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Plot: A mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver lands himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor. Source: imdb.com

Very unpopular opinion time: I didn’t like Drive.

That being said, Drive is a gorgeous film. Every angle was perfect, the lightning and worked every single time, nearly every scene having impeccable conceptualism. And then there was the beautiful colouring, spot on costume design, hair and make-up, fantastic use of props and generally, any visuals you could think of were faultless. You could take beautiful, conceptual photographs from any scene of the film. (There are going to be a lot of pictures. A lot.)

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I think my problem was the plot. The film itself is rather short – a mere hundred minutes – but I was bored by the first hour. I love both Ryan Gosling (the Driver) and Carey Mulligan (Irene) but they disappointed me here. From all the elegant visuals, Reynolds seemed to have two faces – the sulky and the nonchalant and Mulligan only had one which, to me, looked like she’d just crapped her pants. Sorry. I know they weren’t bad, they were just one-sided from where I stand. Seeing Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston was a surprise, but a good one at that – he had a small role, he filled it just as he was supposed to but it wasn’t anything special. The only character I symphatised with was – ironically, considering his character – Oscar Isaac’s Standard Gabriel. With him, there was a story and I liked  his characterisation from the point he spoke up at his coming-home party.

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Something everyone else seems to like is the mystery of Gosling’s character – the Driver. The problem here is that yes, I saw he was mysterious and he didn’t have a name and he was leading a mysterious life… but I didn’t care. He failed to evoke any emotions from me until the very end, with the final scene with Cranston and that wasn’t enough. Mulligan’s (or Irene’s) problem was the complete apathy. Her first twenty minutes were good and started steadily declining then.

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By the final scene, I’d given up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – in any film or series (or book), characters are extremely important to me and if they are off, the entire flick is off, no matter how aestethically pleasing it is. I’ll give Drive a second one day, though, since all the people sharing my taste in film loving it says something. Maybe it was the overhype that dragged my opinion down. I really can’t tell. What I know is that I didn’t feel Drive.vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h40m33s183 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h41m35s47 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h46m49s126 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h57m43s26 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h59m06s53 vlcsnap-2013-09-26-14h24m40s21 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h29m21s131 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h31m48s37 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h33m20s225 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-10h59m19s214 vlcsnap-2013-09-26-14h19m54s202 vlcsnap-2013-09-28-11h00m52s93

And for the million dollar question – is there anyone else out there that didn’t like Drive? And why? Or if you loved it – what did I miss?

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16 responses to “Drive (2011)

  1. Aww, I’m bummed you didn’t like it! But at least you probably won’t make the mistake of watching Only God Forgives merely for the fact that you loved Drive like I did.

  2. Good review Elina. I wasn’t really much of a fan of this movie either. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the style and the story, but just too much style can go a long way. However, I did like Only God Forgives a bit more, only because it was a full-out circus from beginning to end.

  3. Oh I’m with Brittani – if you didn’t like Drive, stay away from Only God Forgives. Hands down the worst mess I’ve seen all year and I enjoyed Drive quite a bit. I love that you mentioned Cranston – he is so versatile and memorable in everything he does, his work in Argo was my favorite in the cast and it was quite the small part, yet he put so much heart in it.

  4. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL! Truly?! I watched it this weekend and had my mind BLOWN! I am so into this film haha!

  5. Honestly, the first time I saw Drive I was so taken aback by the interactions between Irene & the Driver that I couldn’t process it very well. I still don’t really care about Irene who was pretty much a blank slate but on the second (and more viewings) I definitely like this film a lot. It’s beautiful, has awesome supporting characters, and the soundtrack is perfect. I get that it might be a bit cold to connect to at first though.

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  7. Ryan Gosling not Reynolds although they are both pretty boys. 😉 I forced myself to keep reading despite the fact that you did not like the film. I don’t think Refn’s films are for everyone. However, this is the most approachable of his films.

  8. I hated DRIVE. You’re welcome to dig into this to find my review:

    http://www.electricsheepmagazine.co.uk/features/2011/10/11/toronto-international-film-festival-211-part-1/

    …..or you can just read this quote from it:

    “…too many eyefuls of Ryan Gosling staring soulfully at pretty much everything and everyone – adorned, no less, in a ridiculous Scorpion jacket…..who falls in love with his dewy-eyed, perpetually open-mouthed and equally soulful neighbour. ”

  9. I like your enjoyed reading your take on the film(even though I am a big fan of Drive and the director) I agree with you that the film was glossy and gorgeous along with the lighting and mood. The soundtrack also helped a lot with the ambient 80’s synthesizers/Grand Theft Auto feel to the story.

  10. When I first watched Drive I thought it was awesome. I put this mainly down to the kick-ass action sequences. However I watched it again recently, and I find myself agreeing with you. I didn’t care either and as a result al the action sequences were borderline boring to watch. Maybe I was just suckered in by all the hype.

    Good review!

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