Gosling and Refn at their prime
If you’re expecting this film would be like Transporter or Fast & Furious, then don’t, it’ll crash and burn your expectations within 10 seconds. Instead, it’ll gratified you even more.
Opens with camera scuds between glimmering skyscrapers in downtown LA, credits of the hottest pink light up a sky of the blackest velvet and a pumping Euro-electro score.
Long considered a talented Danish filmmaker whose spiky sensibility could never fit into hollywood, Nicolas Winding Refn (The Pulser Trilogy) has here made a stunningly explosive action movie.
It’s this clashing of moods and overthrowing of stereotypes that sets Drive’s engine afloat, with Refn binding between blazing daylight and silky night, between fundamental set-ups and offbeat outcomes, between familiar faces and surprising ices-blood character traits Bernie (Albert Brooks), between glimmering helicopter shots and tyre-squealing ground-level chases, between crushed skulls and synth pop, between classic movies and Refn’s unique point of view. It makes this film both typical and fresh.
The cast is strong, from Carey Mulligan’s serenely tough woman (Irene) to Bryan Cranston’s mechanic/fixer (Shannon) to Ron Perlman’s intimidating henchman (Nino). But it is Gosling, along with Refn’s meticulous, dynamic direction, that is the star of the show, his performance reminds us of the cool charisma of Steve McQueen in Bullitt.
Driver (Ryan Gosling) may be a blank-faced without a single hint of background-story, but he’s an intriguing, the kind of amoral and dysfunctional anti-hero.
C’est magnifique for a film that got Cannes critics exhilarate.