Saturday, 16 March 2013

Drive (2011)

A kind of homage to various movie era's with a curious blend of styles that got me thinking of various stars and flicks. Not the most original title for a film and to be frank there isn't all that much driving involved in this mini mob flick. There are one or two nice car sequences which are filmed well with nice camera angles showing a good eye for imaginative shots, kinda looks like computer in-game sequences and very pleasing to watch much like 'Ronin' was.

Its clear right from the start that 'Bullitt' was an inspiration for the feel of this film in my view, mix that with many old Clint films where the lead says little and sorts out his problems the hard way. The way Gosling is dressed in that kind of retro look with his laid back approach, side parting and toothpick gritted between his teeth all screams a homage to screen legend Steve McQueen. He has no name and is referred to merely as 'the driver', he doesn't really talk much but can handle himself, so you can see the Eastwood homage there, so putting two classic images together enough?.

No it isn't, add to this a retro electronic soundtrack harking back to the 80's with a light pop credit opener that stirs your emotions, whilst you see a shocking neon pink film title appear across the screen and you'd think this was an old Charlie Sheen vehicle. There are so many elements in this film its quite impressive and even more impressive is they all work nicely together to produce a decent little crime thriller.

The cast is small but solid with Brooks against typecasting as the main mob bad guy and doing an impressive job really, not over the top and brutally extreme but calm and sensible. Gosling has clearly been made to have that smooth 60/70's iconic image of the silver screen with his appearance and he does pull it off whilst his performance is understated and likeable. The only cast member I thought didn't quite fit the bill was Perlman surprisingly as the Jewish mobster bad guy, too foul mouthed (wasn't needed) and not really believable in my opinion, he is too big for this independent film in my view.

Like I said before there isn't much car action for a film called 'Driver', there is a lot of plot building and dialog which is fine but odd choices of music play over much of it and at times just doesn't quite feel right, nice musical scores though. Very much a modern noir of sorts which really stands out from the crowd these days despite the plot being rather cliched and unoriginal but its very very hard to be original in this day and age. I had been thinking that the film could of been really unique and special if filmed in black and white, just my thoughts.