Everywhere I go, people are talking about how much they loved Drive. Like, literally everywhere. The TV, the internet, when I hang out with my friends, in the toilets after I saw the movie everywhere. Everyone seems to universally love it. Except me.
I just don’t really get why everyone seems to like it so much. Yeah, I get the fact that it has a cool soundtrack and that it’s shot very stylishly and that’s it ultra violent and that Ryan Gosling is oh so dreamy in it (Sorry to generalise but a lot of girls i know seem to have only gone to see Drive because Ryan Gosling looks hot in it. Do all girls go to see movies just because guys are hot, because I’m pretty sure most guys don’t go to see movies just because hot girls are in them? At least not solely because of that), but was it really that good?
I mean I remember when i first saw the trailer, it started off looking like it was going to be some crappy Ryan Gosling film where he was a stunt driver and fell in love and had to choose between his career and his new love, but then actually started to look like it might be a cool gangster movie, so I was kinda excited to see it.
What I got was a movie with hardly any driving in it (sure not a big deal, but slightly misleading) that wasn’t really a cool gangster movie and didn’t really make a lot of sense in terms of the characters/relationships. I get the idea that Ryan Gosling’s character (who doesn’t actually have a name and is only referred to as driver, wow how edgy/hip do you want to be?) is supposed to be mysterious/hip/cool but there’s nothing in the movie up until the point where the heist goes wrong to suggest that he’s pretty much an insanely violent psychopath and that was kind of where it lost it for me.
Sure, he tries to solve the problem by giving the money back, and he probably did have to hit the girl to make sure she was telling the truth but is there really any need for him to kick that guy’s head in or threaten that other guy with a nail through the head? I guess it’s all something to do with ‘extreme violence’ to do what is necessary/protect what is important to him’ and I’m not even complaining that it’s unnecessary, just that it didn’t really fit with the tone of the film up until that point as Gosling was presented as a serious, methodical driver – this was never realised better in the tense opening sequence where he drives a bank job that goes wrong incredibly skilfully whilst never getting too excited, kinda like something out of the old video game Driver – but then suddenly turned into a guy who would just kill people brutally and messily without a second thought.
It just didn’t add up for me. I guess the whole point is you’re not supposed to know much about Ryan Gosling’s character but it just seemed like too much of a swerve and there was a lot of unnecessary information provided before anything even happened. Why did the job at the start even matter (aside from being super cool), except showing that he was a good driver and ruthlessly efficient, when later the film would render these character traits irrelevant? Sure it was a good opening scene, filled with tension but in the context of the movie I felt like it was completely unnecessary, as was much of the plot.
The first half just seemed too boring and unrealistic – why the hell was anyone even friends with Ryan Gosling? He barely said anything and was just really weird and awkward, and whenever I do that people just think I’m a weirdo loser, they aren’t asking me around to hang out and play with their kids. When the whole plot about the gangsters and the money pay off and the contract does kick in, even that seemed kinda inconsequential and unimportant, just like it had happened and wasn’t really going to be that much of a problem to sort out because Ryan Gosling was such a badass. In short I felt like all the movie did was say how cool and how much of a badass Ryan Gosling was in it.
I recognise that Drive was trying to be a modern adaptation of some of those Grindhouse style movies from the 70’s/80’s where there isn’t really a plot and it’s just ultra violent – and even though it did a better job than that Tarantino and Rodriguez a few years ago – I still feel that these movies aren’t really being made any more for a reason – because they’re generally crap and derivative and can only really be viewed in terms of laughing at them because they’re so bad.
Drive was maybe a bit cooler than them but only really because it was shot so well and was so stylish/hip. I guess this is cool, but if this is what gets praised as the best movie of the year then I guess I might just stick to high end TV shows where the style is generally matched by good writing and character development.
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