Tuesday 31 January 2012

Drive - Review

Has there ever been a cooler movie than this?  I DO NOT KNOW.  But fuck me, this movie is cool.  Proper cool, cool with substance and style.  Not throwaway cool.  (It is a bit violent though, I'll come back to that.)

Ryan Gosling is the 'driver'.  Never named, beyond being called 'the kid', which is, I think you'll agree, pretty god damn cool.  And of course he looks cool.  I'm not going to go on and on about the jacket, but it's so cool that it dripped some cool on the floor and made the floor cool.

Gosling is ace as the man who can do one thing.  Drive a car.  That's it, that's his purpose.  Sure he sort of falls in love with his married neighbour, has a pang of guilt that sort of kills his.... well that's saying too much, but essentially he's all about cars.  He seems to have a bazillion car related jobs, mainly driving them about and that, but also fixing them and stuff.  Aces.  Man's man.  Well sort of.  That's the thing, there's this weird child like thing about him.  He's sort of angelic, despite the get away driver sideline and it's not until the final third that we see him emote.  It's a very understated performance, every blink feels like it's been dripped in minimalism, every line of dialogue feels weighty because he doesn't say much at all.  But when he does there's a sense it matters.

The credit goes to director Nicolas Windin Refn for making a movie where every shot feels like it was crafted in a the coolest thing you could craft something out of.  Even the scenes where it explodes into violence don't derail you from how good this film looks.  But boy, does it explode into violence.  For some it'll be too much.  Too graphic, too eeuughhhhh!  But it plays it's part in bringing the central character to life and makes him more than just a man with a gift for driving cars really quickly.  Ok, it makes him someone with a penchant for killing with his feet (and driving cars really quickly) but hey, it's nice to have strings to that bow, right?

Drive is what I expected.  Beautifully made, brilliantly acted and with a soundtrack to die for.  What I didn't expect was a throwback to Eastwood and McQueen.  An anti-hero that as a bloke you wanna be like and as a woman you wanna sex with.  Apparently.

A visual treat.  Watch.  It.

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