Since the 1940s, Los Angeles and the southern California area have been the focus of more than one hundred films, both good and absolutely deplorable. Because of this, the LA area and city itself has become a cliche in modern filmography.
Crime is a rewarding profession, if it were not for the dozens of risks that come along with it. Be it small time robbers or high profile heists, the key to a successful theft is the driver. If your driver is bad, well, you will surely be paying for your crimes.
If your driver is good, however, you have an incredibly high chance of success. But a good driver in the crime business is hard to come by, if not impossible in a city like LA. In the cult classic “Drive,” the LA streets are home to the best driver in the entire crime circuit.
The unnamed driver, known simply as The Driver (Ryan Gosling), is hands down the best driver in the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles. He is a man of very few words, a stark contrast to many titular characters Hollywood creates.
Within his quiet and mysterious nature lies one of the best created and acted characters that has ever been on movie screens in decades. Gosling, who is known for his killer looks and his roles in campy romance films, takes a massive step out of his comfort zone and does spectacularly.
His portrayal of the Driver is immaculate, which may come as a shock. As stated before, he is rather quiet and displays very few emotions. But that is why the character is difficult to portray. Everything from his skills and his appearance, adorned in a snazzy Scorpion print jacket is truly spectacular.
Gosling’s history in romance films have made him one of the best, if not the best, actor that displays raw emotion to any of his given roles. The Canadian-born hunk steps back, creates a mysterious and stoic hero who is thoroughly interesting. Gosling absolutely nails this role.
At first glance, “Drive” seems to be yet another Hollywood shoot ‘em up flick. This is not the case. The setting is real, the characters are human and the plot is dark. “Drive” is cinema gold, a completely unknown title that is amazing.
The Driver is used to danger. By day he is a stunt driver for films and by night he is the top getaway driver. But his life, however devoid and lifeless it may seem, takes a sharp turn when he meets Irene (Carey Mulligan).
It is unknown how long the two had been neighbors or if she just moved in. It is known that both the Driver and Irene become close, but as said before, things will forever change.
Irene, played by the talented Mulligan, is a young single mother with a boy whom immediately connects with the Driver. After taking the two for a drive, the next night the Driver is invited to a party. There it is revealed Irene’s husband, “Standard” Gabriel (Oscar Isaac) had been released from prison.
While the Driver ponders Irene’s secrecy, big waves are being put into play. Garage owner and close friend Shannon (Bryan Cranston) contacts mob bosses Bernie (Albert Brooks) and Nino (Ron Perlman) about a small time heist Standard wishes to pull with the Driver opting as their getaway.
Shannon meets with the Driver and tells him of the job. Reluctant, the Driver declines the job as he does not want to endanger Irene and her young son Benicio. Standard confronts the Driver and tells him he needs the money for his family. The Driver agrees.
From here on out, is the pinnacle of great writing. The film is expertly crafted and perfectly acted. No one and nothing falls short of their skills. As I wish not to spoil the rest of the film, I will not go further into the plot. However, there is one thing more that makes the film a real marvel.
The soundtrack of “Drive” is superb. It is a mishmash of ’80s style techno music that mixes extremely well with the dark nights and perilous adventures the characters have.
The music to any film and attract or deter some from watching a certain film, but “Drive” does a fantastic job of making the music fit extremely well with scenes, characters and even the lighting.
As the film closes, the final song plays. “A Real Hero” by College is the perfect song to describe the Driver and the film itself.
All together, “Drive” is a superb film and one of the best in the last 10 or 15 years. It is well worth watching.