Drive is a dark action thriller about an unnamed driver who works as a car mechanic by day, film stunt driver and a criminal getaway driver for hire. It is a slow-moving film punctuated with very strong violence.
Ryan Gosling stars as the unnamed “Driver” who is a loner and speaks very little met Irene (played by Carey Mulligan) a single mom who lives down the hall in an apartment building in Los Angeles. The Driver works as a mechanic, stunt man driver and getaway driver. He works with Shannon, a mechanic who equips him for the dirty work. Shannon has a dream of getting Driver on a race track so he convinces a gangster boss to back him with a race car.
The film opens with the Driver in a getaway car waiting for the other criminals then in an extended car chase with the police. The opening scenes with the high-speed car chase happens in downtown Los Angeles; the “southland” is often the scene of televised high-speed car chases.
The Driver and Irene lives in the same apartment building and got involved romantically. Irene appears to be a single mom raising a boy at the start of the film but she is married to a husband who is in prison. The husband owes a lot of money to an organized crime. He is to payback the money by robbing a pawn shop. The Driver agreed to help by driving the getaway car. The robbery went wrong and out of control, the husband gets killed. Everything went wrong the Driver’s controlled life goes out of control.
Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman star as the mob bosses. They are very credible and creepy mob bosses. Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan acted very well too. There is chemistry between the two. Ryan Gosling’s brand of acting which is minimalist is perfect for the role. Like the cars he admires, he hides his roaring emotions within a quiet exterior. Carey Mulligan’s role is conflicted and sweet.
There are violent and graphic scenes but they are far in between. The cinematography is exceptional, the opening sequence has a well-chosen soundtrack makes the movie worth watching. It offers both style and substance.
The movie is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The movie is not your typical action shoot-em-up, it is an art-house action movie. The Drive is very well recommended.