‘Drive’ a paralyzing thrill ride

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by Billy Bannon
Eagle Editorial Board

Nicolas Winding Refn deservedly won Best Director at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for his fierce tour de force Drive.

Brilliantly blending elements of classic noir, spaghetti westerns and exploitation films, Drive delivers a sucker punch that never loses acceleration. Every frame of its 100 minute running time pulsates with intensity.

Ryan Gosling, also seen in Crazy Stupid Love and Blue Valentine, stars as the film’s nameless protagonist, B-movie stunt car driver by day, a heist getaway driver by night.

He speaks sparingly and never displays emotion until he meets his beautiful neighbor, played by Carey Mulligan, and her son.

Their blossoming relationship is interrupted by the release of her husband from prison who harbors an unsettled debt.

To protect the family, the driver agrees to help him rob a pawn shop. When the heist does not go according to plan, chaos erupts, entangling the driver with a sadistic mobster played by Albert Brooks, who lent his voice for Marlin the clownish in Finding Nemo.

The entire cast performs exceptionally, especially Brooks. Critics predict that Brooks’ brutal performance will earn an Oscar nomination, and it is clear to see why. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences loves a psychopath.

Those who enter Drive expecting to see another Transformers, a roller coaster ride of a movie that is 99% noise and 1% brain activity, will be disappointed.

More invested in characters than explosions, Drive is an entirely different breed from the mainstream action flicks that dominate the box office.

To paraphrase from the film, any plans you have for the future you are going to have to put those on hold. Watch Drive instead. No need for an overpriced soda from the concessions stand. The adrenaline will more than quench your thirst.

 

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