Director Nicolas Winding Refn, gives us the classic lit up cityscape opening followed by a pink font title scrawled across a freeze frame of the main character. That mixed with a soundtrack that kisses the feet of eighties electro music and whispers lyrics into my ears like the prayers of sleepy angels, I’m ready, tell me more Mr Director, you have my undivided attention. And we’re off!
While the cars speed along the film gets off to a slow start. Gosling’s cool laid back lead dictates the pace of the film. Some of this is to do with the virginal non-courtship between the two neighbours. This consists of a series of non-dates with Irene’s kid in tow. Put it this way, this film is going the scenic route; take in the cinematography, the jacket, the pretty waitress with the unlikely name and all the shiny, shiny cars. And a montage to boot!
Oh yes, I’m listening Ryan Gosling, speak up. What’s that? You don’t have anything to say? Oh right, I get it you’re the silent type with a little curled up smile that melts an audience’s collective heart, let’s go with that.
There must have been at least 30 shots of ‘the Kid’ just coyly smiling away, slow and quiet where I’d be like ‘Yeah it’s great, isn’t it fantastic? I’m having an amazing time! My job is awesome, you’re really cool Irene let’s hang out summore!’ But that manic motor mouth doesn’t fit in with this adorable antihero. I would have liked the dialogue to be more engaging to fatten up the simple plot, however Gosling’s subdued loveliness makes this film. He is almost like a character out of a video game, a ‘Streets of Rage’ style vigilante taking on the baddies and shedding plenty of blood along the way…no slapping of prostitutes this time but we do have a scene adorned with more fake boobs than you can shake a hammer at. It’s all part of the ‘look’ I’m sure.
Drive flirts with the eighties in a way that means you get to indulge in its cool Kid character with a smirk of knowingness. It’s got a soundtrack that’s like the best paint job you ever had (you can’t have too many car puns) but don’t be fooled by the films ultra cool components…it’s secretly a cheesy film. Love-struck pretty people and violence that is B movie buckets of blood bloody. Get ready for the elevator scene goes from nought to 60, erm, well goddamn fast! This compact and intense scene is the apex of the movie, enjoy every second of it. If only that adrenalin rush was there throughout, this film is set on cruise control. You don’t feel the speed of what could have been an energetic and fast paced drama, no power under its very beautifully polished bonnet. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like checking out my reflection in it. If you love a bit of eighties nostalgia then you’ll like this film.
Drive is in cinemas now.