Lindsay: Drive is a movie that marches to its own beat. You are introduced to the main character (Gosling) only by his occupation (the character is never given a name) and you understand his life strictly through the characters around him and how he chooses to interact with them. In the simplest terms, the film is a love & revenge story, but this story is unlike anything you’ve experienced in theaters in quite some time.
With that being said, Drive is indeed exhilarating, but also alienating. This movie is gory badass art-house. The art-house is where viewers will disconnect. Every scene in the first half of the movie is filled with painful silence. Occasionally the lack of dialogue works, but it often took me completely out of the film’s fantasy and firmly in the reality that I was watching two actors. The actors are all talented, and enjoyable to watch in their own respect, but when you have two characters that barely know each other stare at one another for full minutes in silence, you start to wonder ‘what the hell should I be paying attention to: the characters or the actors?’ That’s the art-house in Drive. Almost every scene is about 10-40 seconds longer than in needed to be for my tastes, and ultimately felt like the director was being way too self-indulgent. As if every scene was the most gorgeous art he had ever witnessed and he made it fill the running time to say “Look at me! I am art! I am important! I am awesome!”
Ok, ok. That is all my speculation, of course. But I don’t want to focus heavily on the film’s negatives, because Drive is a sensation. The film’s style is hard to ignore, a furious mix of sex and sleaze, complete with ugly jackets, strippers, hulking bad guys, and 80s inspired girlie electro-pop. The music in this film is second only to Hanna this year in the running for best soundtrack. Every actor in the movie is great so I’m not going to list them off, but it’s Ryan’s movie for sure. Gos manages to act the shit out of a script with no fucking dialogue using only his puppy-dog eyes and pulsating jawline. He’s incredible and I will officially see anything he’s in. Then filling out the rest of Drive, is the loud and inescapable brutality. The violent scenes are by majority the crowd pleasing moments and most memorable and will make the film a definite cult classic.
Jess: Drive was one of my more highly anticipated films this year. It definitely got some things right–Ryan Gosling was fantastic as usual and the action was fun to watch. It’s not your standard action fanfare and I can appreciate its more artsy quality. This film is beautiful to watch and the soundtrack is delightful. The acting performances left nothing to be desired, however the directing and editing could have used some fine tuning for my taste. Scenes linger a bit too long and it took me out of the moment and made me aware that I was watching a movie rather than feeling immersed in the experience. Every time this happened though the story would draw me back in as the stakes got higher and Ryan Gosling’s character, the Driver, played his next move in a surprising and interesting way. The violent scenes punctuate each scene and add even more mystery to the Driver’s back story. Without saying much the Driver became completely fascinating and questions are rarely answered to give you insight into who he exactly is. The supporting cast all heighten this film experience, although everyone (other than Cranston who shines) honestly pales to what Gosling achieves. I am feeling reserved to fully make any strong claims about this movie before I watch it again (and again). It definitely gives you a lot to mull over and dissect and hopefully each rewatch will help me to appreciate this film more than I do right now. My biggest beef is that I could have used more cool car sequences, since there are only two really interesting ones.
Rob: I got very wrapped up in Drive. The film starts out with a great chase sequence, so I was pretty much hooked from that point on. From there the movie gets more into the story. You meet Ryan Gosling’s character’s boss, a man who was and still chooses to be wrapped up with criminal types. You also meet the character’s neighbor and learn a bit about Gosling’s character. Not a lot though, there isn’t too much dialogue from him in the film. I thought this was interesting though. While it did create some odd moments in the film, it allowed me time and gave me reason to think about what the characters were thinking and how they felt about each other. This happens between a lot of people in the film that relate to Gosling.
The action surprised me in this movie. It was a mix of slow and fast pace scenes through the first half of the film, but there is a definite pivotal scene where the action is ramped up heavily. At this point I was already enjoying the film and I was waiting for the part where things get crazy. Sometimes movies never really go to the level that I feel they could reach. Drive took it farther than I was expecting. It reminded me of Super in that aspect, which was a movie I really dug this year.
Overall I appreciated what the movie was able to do. Watching the trailer, I thought that it could easily become another humdrum action film, but the places that the film was taken managed to seem fresher than I was expecting.