When a driver gets entangled in a mob-related fiasco, he will do anything to make sure that a mother and her child remain safe.
A movie back in 2011 that received all sorts of awards, praised by the critics, and regarded as one of the best films of that year. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t understand it.
Right off the bat, the music was something that caught my attention before watching the movie. The opening credits song, “Nightcall,” was fantastic. I listen to it from time to time because it is that good. Kavinsky, LoveFoxx, Sebastian, and Guy-Manuel did great work with that track.
The film had a strong cast. It had Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, and Christina Hendricks. Cranston and Perlman were my favorites, as they did their best with the limited material there was from the script. The rest of the cast ranged from alright to bland. The characters in this hardly had any backbone to make one latch onto. The struggles and conflicts were standard. They were pretty one-dimensional; which was a shame giving that Gosling did deliver some moments of being threatening. But instead, he resulted in being more awkward and shy and would constantly make nervous, googly eyes at his neighbor. Those scenes dragged for quite a bit and I don’t understand how the neighbor fell for him as he only delivered a few sentences in certain scenes.
There were moments where the acting seemed off. Like the actors/actresses didn’t give natural-like performances. One example was when Perlman’s car got spun out from Gosling and gave a very casual response.
From a technical standpoint, the cinematography, lighting, and direction were all really good. This was a film with a sleek, neo-noir, and 80s vibe which was cool. Colors appeared slightly muted, which was appropriate for the dark atmosphere that the movie was showcasing. Two shots/scenes that stood out to me was when the camera was locked onto to Gosling in the car as he was about to park in the parking garage. The other was in the climax when Gosling was on the beach to confront Perlman. It appeared grainy and the only sound was the wind and ambient noise of the waves crashing on the beach. Giving the mood/tone a very eerie feeling.
There were nice perspective shots from the car and I liked it whenever we got to see everyone in the car. While the camera was in the driver’s seat, one saw the driver, the front seat passenger, and the back seat passenger from the rear-view window.
While the movie had a promising start, the outcome turned out uninteresting. The plot was too simplistic to gain enough foothold to match the cool technical aspects. It doesn’t reach those levels in the slightest. As mentioned, the characters were pretty one-note and one won’t particularly care what happened to them. Because they either don’t have enough backstory or the material given them just didn’t have enough meat to work on. It makes me wonder how this kind of film won so many awards at the time and got so much praise from so many people.
The plot at times had some decisions that it could have made, but it never brings them to life. Some of the decisions the film made were confusing. Like the part where Gosling was still wearing the prosthetic mask when confronting Perlman. I understand that maybe he was wearing that in case there were cameras in that pizzeria and he didn’t want his face to be revealed. But after that, why did he still wear it? Oscar Isaac’s character was something that I’ve been questioning. I’m torn on whether or not he should have been in the movie in the first place. His character was basically a catalyst for the plot to move forward.
Now the graphic violence was something I liked and didn’t. I mean for this movie, dark and bloody stuff was bound to happen eventually. Though I think it was achieved too far in a couple scenes. Another reason to add to why the film was going for more style than substance.
“Drive,” had good things going but it turned into a disappointing, boring, and polished project. Performances were mixed, the technical side was very cool, and the music was great. But if one would like to see this, don’t get high hopes from the awards because the cookie-cutter plot and the sheer lack of substance fell short dramatically. Just listen to “Nightcall,” you’ll be good.
YouTube: Tk Theater Productions/LoneCentric Pictures