Drive! DRIVE! So? Did you see Drive? You were supposed to see Drive. If you haven’t seen Drive yet, put your computer in the trashcan and go see Drive. We’ll wait. So? Did you see Drive? Sorry that you had to buy a new computer, but that’s all in the past now. Holy moly. DRIVE! I’m going to be completely honest with you, I did not see Drive this weekend. Somehow, Kelly and Amrit Stereogum and I saw it in August at a very EXCLUSIVE and FANCY screening. Jealous? Get over it. Change YOUR life. Got a problem? Fix it! Just like they do in Drive! Right? Wait, what movie am I think of? [Ed. note: Casper.] (I think my favorite part of this review so far is that it is focussed, on topic, super readable, and very interesting.) I would have seen the movie again this weekend so it was fresher in my mind and also because I loved it and would like to watch it again, but as they say, life is what happens when you’re busy having to watch the Emmys on Sunday night and you had plans for a month to see a play on Saturday and also you are an adult and sometimes things just happen and you don’t always have to apologize for everything and maybe you should save your apologies for things that really matter. It’s almost INSANE how on topic and good this review is. I hope they print the whole thing on the back of the DVD case and if they change a single word Ryan Gosling better lawyer up because I’m coming for everything. (FUN FACT: Ryan Gosling is in charge of the production of all of his movies’ DVD cases!) (SIDENOTE: the play I saw on Saturday was called Sleep No More and it was fun. I recommend it. It’s kind of like the computer game Maniac Mansion but for plays. It’s only running for a couple more weeks, so if you are in the New York area check it out!) And now back to this very professional movie review of the movie Drive already in progress:

Well, first of all it was really, really good. So there’s that. It’s basically a one-way ticket on the Ryan Gosling train, ALL ABOARD! Ladies, you were right, and I’m so sorry to have doubted you. I still think The Notebook was a piece of shit, but that’s only because there wasn’t enough curb-stomping dude’s faces in elevators and using the claw-end of a hammer to open a strip-club owner’s mouth with the visceral clink clank of metal on teeth right before he force-swallows a bullet. I’m telling you, if the The Notebook had had more of that stuff in it, this would have been a very different blog.

Actually, the gratuitous violence in the movie was my least favorite part. It really seemed a bit much. You could blow Christina Hendricks’s brains out without, you know, BLOWING CHRISTINA HENDRICKS’S BRAINS OUT. Couldn’t you? I think you could. The strip club dressing room scene was actually kind of perfect in that it was certainly very intense and pretty violent and totally affective (and/or effective) but it wasn’t gory. The camera didn’t linger on the thick gurgle of blood pumping out of a severed arterie. People in my audience groaned at some of this, and they were right to do so. Then again, this movie unlike so many movies and TV shows these days, did at least take its violence seriously, which is good. (I’ve briefly mentioned this before, but it is crazy how pretty much any character in any movie or TV show made in the past 10 years will just straight up grab a gun without ever having seen one in their lives before even and blow some dude’s face off and giggle because it’s Cameron Diaz or something and then there’s a one-liner like, “Is my panties showing?” It’s awful. Violence is fine and I have no problem seeing it or it being depicted, but there has to be SOME sense of the fact and moral weight of it, I mean, come on.)

My other (minor) problem with the movie was all the early scenes between Ryan (I just call him Ryan now) and Carey Hannah Mulligan were paced so slow and weird. It just felt like a forced aesthetic that didn’t really work for me. One of them would ask the other one if they wanted a glass of water and they would take ten minutes to say “sure.” It felt stiff and unnatural. Much like the violence, it was a problem that did not affect my opinion of the movie very strongly, which is that this movie is just great. (Similarly to the moral consideration of the violence, I also appreciate that he doesn’t get the girl in the end. Because he shouldn’t. Because he’s a murderer and a fucking dangerous maniac.)

And actually, the slowness of their early courtship did help with one of the movie’s distinct pleasures, which was it’s sudden and drastic shift in tone and pacing. A calm before the storm, if you will. I mean, you kind of know from the beginning that Ryan Gosling isn’t exactly the most up-and-up dude you’ve ever met, but he’s pretty calm and quiet and keeps to himself and he’s GREAT with children, but oh man, that part in the diner when that dude from his past walks up and he suddenly turns very dark and dangerous? It is like a mid-90s pop-punk song where it starts off slow and quiet and then gets REAL LOUD all of a sudden. Those were great songs! And that is why all of the songs sound like that now!

Speaking of songs: the Drive soundtrack is a VERY good soundtrack. It’s weird how there was all that talk about the boring old Daft Punk Tron 2.Dads soundtrack that was actually pretty much just a computerized John Williams score, I mean, not that good honestly, when this was the soundtrack to be talking about. I guess I am just saying that a year ago when Tron 2.Dads was coming out why weren’t they talking about the soundtrack of this movie that no one even knew existed just kidding I know how things work I’m being a little facetious, but the point is the same: hot stuff. Sort of at odds with what was happening on the screen but in the perfect way. Like a long, lazy road trip with the ones you love punctuated by a 300 car pile-up. Download it to your Zune 2day. (And before it came out, even the posters for this movie were good. People don’t really care about movie posters, I guess, but that doesn’t mean some aren’t way better than others.)

Oh, also: good job, Albert Brooks. (That part can go on the front of the DVD case, if Ryan Gosling’s DVD Lawyers are taking notes.)

I think this movie is going to be a pretty big deal. I’m not sure how much money it will make or how long it will stay in the theaters or how many people will throw out their Na’vi costumes for a silken embroidered-scorpion racing jacket, but just in terms of movies that stick with you, and that have a really lasting tonal quality that you carry with you long after you leave the theater, and also iconic performances and stunning visuals that pushes ALL of the right buttons and that leaves you with an overall sense that you just SAW something for once in your goddamned life and that it was GOOD, Drive is one of the first of those that I’ve seen in awhile. Like I said, I saw it more than a month ago (because my life is amazing and I’ve just made really great choices all along the way without any mistakes) but I really wanted to see it again, and I WILL see it again. Probably soon. None of your business.

Drive is a really really good movie. (Not to late to change out the billboards with some new billboards. “Drive is a really really Good Movie.” – Gabe Delahaye, Professional Reviews.)

Comments (64)
  1. nothing about albert brooks not having eyebrows? i am disappoint.

  2. Who is this reviewer? Somebody promote him!

  3. Sounds good. I’ll add it to my Qwikster.

  4. Haven’t seen this yet and skipped the text for spoilers. Just came here to see if there were any pictures of Christina Hendricks. She makes it through the movie OK, right?

  5. Oh! Drive!? I thought we were supposed to watch Driven.


    I didn’t think it was very good.

  6. “I’ve never seen what’s inside Christina Hendricks’ bra, but I have seen what’s inside her head.” –some really gross dude

  7. “And that is why all of the songs sound like that now!”

    This is so true it hurts.

  8. BRB, I have to go steal a latex mask to disguise myself from literally no one while still wearing my identifiable, signature jacket.

  9. CAN WE ALL JUST LUST OVER THAT PERFECT JACKET? It was custom made and only Ryan Gosling, Nicholas Winding Refn, and his wife have them. There are like five maybe in the world and this is all the more reason I need to bone Ryan Gosling.

  10. Umm, I’m sorry (see how I’m saving ym apology for a good reason?) but the Daft Punk Tron soundtrack was fucking CRAMAZING.

    • It was, I just wish Derezzed was maybe 2 minutes long? I mean, is that too much to ask, Daft Punk?

      Ha, what is this, Musicgum or something?

      • Yeah, Derezzed was far too short, but Solar Sailor is one of the most beautiful electronic pieces I’ve heard in years and just the range of emotions in listening to the soundtrack from beginning to end is incredibly diverse.

        Shit. I sound like a freshman in an Intro to Modern Music course…

    • the remix cd was pretty amazing, but gabe is totally right, that thing sounds like someone dropped a regular score thru an autotuner.

      • See, I actually thought the remix cd was pretty disappointing considering some of the talent that worked on it. Oh well, to each his own.

        • i dunno, i liked most of the tracks. the remix cd’s all sounded electronica, the score just seemed like an orchestration with some electronica flourishes. (derezzed being the exception)

          cool story with the downvotes for having an opinion though you guys.

  11. Can we all just agree that this was the most badass (and in all honesty, brutal) movie since Taken? The soundtrack was absolutely fantastic, it was highly-stylized without being ridiculous, and Ryan Gosling’s character was basically our generation’s Man with No Name. Guys, clearly I really liked this one.

  12. NO MENTION OF CRANSTON?
    WHAT IS THAT?

  13. Drive DROVE me crazy.

    I’m honestly surprised by the love this movie is getting. It reminded me of the stylishness of Lost In Translation except less (i.e., no) jokes, more reverb-y music, and certainly more exploding heads and throats getting stab stab stabbed. HOLLYWOOD!

    I gave up caring when Carey Mulligan asked Ryan G<3sling if he'd had a good day and three Chillwave songs later he said "Yeah." Cool. Cool people. What are their addresses so I can go hang wit dem RIGHT NOW?

    What DRIVE-l. Two ughs out of four up.

  14. Did everyone go online and purchase driving gloves immediately after seeing this movie? That wasn’t just me, right?

  15. He would have been such a good pro race car driver.

  16. While I can see how the early scenes could be taken as slow, stiff and unnatural, I rather enjoyed them. Non-verbal dialogue is something that is pushed to the wayside in these days of Aaron Sorkin, my dialogue is so clever I have to bust my nose to write it. I don’t think it would have worked with with other actors but Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan put in excellent performances. The unusually long beats and sparse dialogue let them and consequently their characters breathe.

    You don’t actually know that much about either character, but yet you do through those early scenes. For example, when Ryan has lunch with Carey and her husband the emotions she expresses says far more then opting to fill out (with more dialogue) the fragments of story that are verbally expressed.

    The director Joseph Losey partnered up with Harold Pinter to write the scripts for Losey’s films. The first thing Pinter did was tell Losey to cross out every other line of dialogue in the script. It’s films like Drive that I think show why that can be a good idea.

    • Carey Mulligan’s panting was a bit distracting, but honestly who wouldn’t be panting like that while in the presence of Ryan Gosling in a dirty, tight T-shirt?

    • But beware the imitative fallacy! If your characters are dull, don’t show them in a dull way. I’d argue Drive had a VERY dull way of showing. Like, the dullest. But my friends loved it, the Internet loves it, etc.

      You guys can just have the biggest Qwikster party ever when this comes out on DVD. I’m not coming.

    • And oh: If you cross out every OTHER line of dialogue, aren’t you left with a monologue?

      • Not at all. Lines of dialogue pertains to the lines on the page not the entirety of what the character says before someone else speaks.

        Also, dull characters are very subjective. I personally find Ryan’s “unnamed Driver” fascinating. Who is this guy? What is his background? He obviously has getaway driving down to a science. Why? Why does he have so much rage bottled up? None of it is ever explained, but I’m ok with that.

        You only really get a glimpse of his character once, at the end of the elevator scene right before the doors close (which coincidentally I thought was one of the best sequences in the film). I found it a fascinating glimpse.

    • those long long beats! Have to say, I loved them. They weren’t just counting to ten till their next line – Gosling & Mulligan were eating each other up *in their minds* during those beats. That’s where they got all fond. Or is that when *I* ate *them* all up in my mind? om nom nom. Anyway, those beats were The Best. ANd necessary set up as Gabe says for the cafe scene where he gets all immediate and fierce.

  17. SPOILER

    Cranston/Brooks arm slice gave me the heebie jeebies.

  18. Only complaint. For a movie about driving there wasn’t much driving. Other than that it was pretty good.

    • drive
      v. drove, driv·en (drvn), driv·ing, drives
      v.tr.
      1. To push, propel, or press onward forcibly; urge forward: drove the horses into the corral.
      2. To repulse or put to flight by force or influence: drove the attackers away; drove out any thought of failure.
      3. To guide, control, or direct (a vehicle).
      4.
      a. To convey or transport in a vehicle: drove the children to school.
      b. To traverse in a vehicle: drive the freeways to work.
      5.
      a. To supply the motive force or power to and cause to function: Steam drives the engine.
      b. To cause or sustain, as if by supplying force or power: “The current merger mania is apparently driven by an urge . . . to reduce risk or to exploit opportunities in a very rapidly changing business environment” (Peter Passell).
      6. To compel or force to work, often excessively: “Every serious dancer is driven by notions of perfectionperfect expressiveness, perfect technique” (Susan Sontag).
      7. To force into or from a particular act or state: Indecision drives me crazy.
      8. To force to go through or penetrate: drove the stake into the ground.
      9. To create or produce by penetrating forcibly: The nail drove a hole in the tire.
      10. To carry through vigorously to a conclusion: drove home his point; drive a hard bargain.
      11.
      a. Sports To throw, strike, or cast (a ball, for example) hard or rapidly.
      b. Basketball To move with the ball directly through: drove the lane and scored.
      c. Baseball To cause (a run or runner) to be scored by batting. Often used with in.
      12.
      a. To chase (game) into the open or into traps or nets.
      b. To search (an area) for game in such a manner.

      How much more would you like me to copy and paste?

  19. This movie is probably the best thing I’ve seen all year but can you think of a more boring thing to shoot with a slow frame rate than someone parking a car? Even if that someone is baby Goose and he’s about to discover that this guy was just beat up by gangster I was like, “I GET YOU HAVE STYLE NICHOLAS WINDING REFN NOW GO TO BED!” Just kidding, don’t go to bed I love your movies stay up and talk!

  20. The LA Times and NY Times (Kenneth Turan and A.O. Scott) didn’t like the movie much either. You’re in good company here.

  21. “Good job, Albert Brooks” is kind of my motto.

  22. “I’m a big Ryan Reynolds fan so naturally I loved this movie” – great timely joke one week ago today

  23. First off, I really liked this movie. But it was straight-faced satire, right? It was s’posed to be exciting, but also funny, right? wasn’t it done with a big Refn wink to the audience (who, at the screening i was at laughed hysterically throughout and then standing-applauded as if Gosling was going to come out and french-kiss us all)?

    Like the scene where she says her husband is in jail? Too ham fisted too be an accident, right? The goal was to ride the line approaching over-the-top, no? Am I out to lunch here? and why am I so needy? Sorry.

    • Too ham fisted too be an accident, right?

      • don’t you have better things too do?

        • “This jacket is so nice, it will be the only thing they talk about on the blogs next week. No one will even care to debate my intentions as a film maker, because of their raging boners for this hot, hot jacket. And if anyone tries to steer the discussion away from the jacket, they’d better not include any typos, lest they be sleepily mocked by the administrator” – Nicolas Winding Refn

  24. UNRELATED SIDENOTE: I saw Sleep No More earlier this summer. It’s trippy. It was certainly no Macbeth I’d ever seen before, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. Check it out!

    • I also saw it and thought it was fantastic. I was one of the lucky people that got whisked away alone into a secret room with one of the actors. It was reallly incredible and bizarre. I will not tell you what happened but if you can you should definitely follow the detective (duncan’s son) for one of the turns.

  25. Hey Gabe’s editor, what movie am I think of?

  26. I finally saw this movie tonight. i didn’t understand what the big deal was about Ryan Gosling before but even when he slapped that big lady in the face I wished i was her.

  27. i really enjoyed this movie but the casting of carey mulligan was a dumb move. like c’mon. Carey Mulligan living in echo park (as a non-hipster) with a husband in jail? Sorry not buying it. Also apparently the director said he white-washed the character because he wanted to avoid “complicated racial stuff.” What a fucking asshole.

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