Sometimes less is more. Another director in another film would have taken the story of a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a heist driver and turned it into a CGI exploding extravaganza. Probably starring Jason Statham. Fortunately Drive was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and he turns what could have another crappy action film into a brilliant crime film.
Ryan Gosling is cast as the unnamed lead to the film. He is credited as Driver. Gosling quietly leads the film. He says little and there are quite a few moments of uncomfortable silence where all he does is smile and watch. He works at a garage for Bryan Cranston who hires him out to varies criminals who need a getaway driver. There are rules for the job. There is only a five minute window for the criminals to pull the heist, whatever happens isn’t his business but he will drive them to safety and that’s the end of it. The film opens with a job but instead of a high speed chase, Gosling escapes by using the city and what’s happening in the city.
Gosling meets new neighbour Carey Mulligan and her son and forms a relationship of sorts with them. Slowly and methodically this all leads to a heist that goes wrong. The last half of the film becomes extremely, brutally violent. When it’s all said and done Nicolas Winding Refn has created one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. Slow but methodical and very entertaining.