The Fall movie season is officially underway and one of the first films out of the gate is director Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE, an intelligent, stylish, Oscar-worthy action film. I keep hearing this film compared to Jason Statham’s popular THE TRANSPORTER films, but trust me, these are very different movies. Yes, just as THE TRANSPORTER delivers on the action front, DRIVE does as well, but with the style and finesse of an art house film. The opening sequence of DRIVE hooks you with its slow-building tension, beautiful cinematography, and a car chase that no doubt will go down in film history as one of the best on film.
Think of DRIVE as a recipe of one part early Tarantino, mixed with 80′s style Michael Mann and William Friedkin, and then throw in some Steve McQueen style coolness. The final result? One of the best damn films of the year.
Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac).
After a heist intended to pay off Standard’s protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman). But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk—that they’re coming straight for Irene and her son—Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offense.
The film is based on the book of the same name, written by avant garde and crime story literature writer James Sallis. DRIVE is Rated R and opens in theaters everywhere this Friday, September 16. I know I’ll be back at the theater again this weekend to take in a second viewing!
Leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite actions films, or your favorite Ryan Gosling film. What’s in it for you? Next Tuesday (September 20), I’ll pick one winner by random number generator and you win a DRIVE prize pack that includes the book, a pair of driving gloves, a DRIVE keychain and DRIVE car air freshners!
Now, make plans this weekend to go see DRIVE! Here’s a little bonus clip for you of the opening “Getaway” scene from the film. Happy viewing Book End Babes!