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Thursday
Sep152011

Movie Review: 'Drive'

Ablestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Perhaps the best thing about Drive is you’ve never really seen a film quite like it.

The worst thing about Drive?  Nothing.  Wow.

Ryan Gosling plays Driver -- if he has a name we never hear it, nor does it matter -- a movie stunt driver and mechanic by day and a freelance heist driver by night.  He doesn’t say much, so when he does say something, you want to listen.  You have to listen.  If you hire Driver, you get five minutes to do your thing -- and you better do it in five minutes because he will not wait.

Driver gets help from Bryan Cranston’s Shannon.  He supplies the cars and, for the purpose of this story, the antagonist.  Shannon has built a stock car and is looking to put together a racing team, with Driver as his, well, driver, but needs some cash.  For that, he turns to former movie producer-turned-faux mobster Bernie Rose, played by Albert Brooks, whose unassuming, benign veneer masks a brutal, calculating killer.

Racing professionally could be the sort of thing that will allow Driver to retire from his “night” job.  One of the many beautiful things about this film is it doesn’t hit us over the head with Driver’s plans, but instead allows us to infer them.  However, Driver will stray off course when he moves next door to Irene, played by Carrie Mulligan, and her young son Benecio.

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher trilogy, Valhalla Rising), Drive will likely be the most original, cohesive movie offering we get this year.  Gosling delivers one of his generation's most memorable performances.  Part James Dean, part Brando, sprinkle in some Paul Newman and this young actor has let Hollywood know he's its most versatile and, perhaps, talented leading man.  Add in its handheld camera shots, 1980s aesthetic and heart-stopping car chases, coupled with Cliff Martinez’s brilliant and moody score, and Drive is an instant classic.

Five out of five stars. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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