Movie #143 2020: Drive (2011)

Honestly, I don’t really understand the hype Ryan Reynolds gets. Sure, he’s okay looking, and he’s not a bad actor, but I’ve personally never been blown away by a single one of his performances. (I should state here that I’m yet to see Blade Runner 2049 so I can’t comment on that one. While we’re here actually, I’ll also point out – perhaps needlessly – that I don’t think he’s attractive whatsoever, because he has a wonky face).

Back to Drive.

Describe it in one word? ”Meh”.

This is one of those films that has filmbro jizz-fest written all over it. You can practically smell that very same semen coating male TV screens across the world. (Sorry to be crass, but that’s what Drive deserves). Look, I won’t lie, I can be one of those arseholes who loves pretentious movies. But this pretentious movie ain’t one of them. It’s a complete snooze fest with no purpose, and here’s why.

The start of the movie is weird as shit. There’s no mention or explanation as to what is going on, and I spent the first 20 minutes feeling like my entire body was made of question marks. By the end of the movie, I felt exactly the same way. The plot is so thin, there’s no particular moral lesson, and it just seems like we weren’t taken on a proper journey.

The protagonist (Gosling) is an arsehole at the start, and he’s an arsehole until the very end. Gosling fails at producing a single ounce of charisma, and I’m just not buying it. He tries his best, but he’s just not built for the “bad guy” role. He got away with it in The Big Short – bankers are just regular guys who think they’re the dog’s bollocks – but Gosling literally has the least menacing face of anyone I’ve ever seen. (Did I mention the wonky thing?) The saddest thing is, you can literally tell he is trying; a truly great performance comes with an air of effortlessness, and this one falls short.

Alongside the poor concept and poor plot line, the dialogue is so quiet, and there’s not much of it either. I’m guessing that was done for effect (tension building) but… The only effect it had on me was that I thought I’d gone deaf in one ear at first. It’s more tedious than anxiety-inducing.

I won’t lie, thirty minutes in I was contemplating turning this off. Thankfully, it was extremely pretty to look at and the soundtrack was top notch, otherwise I’d have fallen asleep. Of course, every single frame on this is pretty, and that’s where it gets most of its praise from. But to me, it was more of an art piece than a movie. I’d rather look at stills of this movie than watch it again, which is not a good sign when a movie – by definition – is a ‘moving picture’.

All is not lost on the performance front either. Oscar Isaac is annoyingly brilliant as usual. Christina Hendricks too. But I can’t remember a single thing that either one of them said or did now, which is simply a sign of poor, frivolous, and unecessary storytelling.

Again yes, it’s incredibly well made but good Lord, this was challenging. Every shot was visually pleasing, but I could not love it as a whole package because that was the only thing I loved about it. 

Ultimately I just did not care about any of the characters or what happened to them. Don’t watch it unless you’re high and want a pretty picture to aimlessly stare at for two hours.

Moving on!

Drive is available to rent for 99p on Amazon.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
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