Who says that action movies with heart-pounding scenes and fast cars zooming through crowded streets between chases can’t be mysterious? Well, after watching Nicolas Winding Refn’s newest film Drive…no one can.
Ryan Gosling stars as an unnamed driver in Los Angeles, who has only one rule: tell him the time and place where he needs to pick you up, and he will steer you to safety, but don’t be late… because he won’t wait for more than five minutes. By day, he is a stunt driver on movie sets; by night, he can be found serving as a wheelman for getaways.
Despite his impassive demeanor and mysterious persona, the driver finds himself attracted to a young mother, Irene (Carey Mulligan), and her son, who live next to his apartment. But, just when feelings begin to develop, Irene’s husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), comes home from prison and soon drags the driver into a world of deadly criminals and bloodshed.
It may seem like a typical action plot at first, but Refn redefines the plot in a way that makes Drive a truly exceptional film. The driver is a mysterious and conflicted character, who would prefer to leave the thrill and speed of illegal getaways for a calmer, more stable existence. Yet when the chips are down, and escape seems impossible, the driver puts on his red leather driving-gloves, and nothing can stop him.
Gosling delivers a powerful performance as the man behind the wheel. With his charming, sweet boyish looks, it is almost a shock to movie-goers see him in the midst of brawls with villains. The violence and chaos becomes increasingly intense as the movie goes on, yet the film is able to maintain a strong sense of suspense through anticipatory silence and unpredictable settings. Drive is a gripping film and a must for anyone who appreciates a plot that is simultaneously action-packed and extremely complex.