This has got to be the year of Ryan Gosling! With three major films to his credit, he is the heir apparent to the late Heath Ledger and the grandson (figuratively) of Marlon Brando. In CRAZY, STUPID LOVE he shows his comedy chops, in THE IDES OF MARCH he plays a political animal with the morals of, well, a politician and, in the brilliant DRIVE he tears up the screen with an intensity and quiet resolve that bring to mind the great Steve McQueen.
DRIVE is the story of a brilliant movie stunt driver who, in his spare time, drives a getaway car for assorted robberies. Gosling's character is a stoic (he doesn't utter a word for the first sixteen minutes of the film and after that speaks only when necessary), who falls in love with a neighbor whose husband is in jail. (The neighbor is played by the brilliant Cary Mulligan of AN EDUCATION). She has a child with whom Gosling bonds and the three begin to play house until Mulligan's husband is released from jail. Then the fireworks begin. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll leave the spoilers out, but just know that the screen soon becomes awash in blood. Pretty it isn't; mesmerizing it is! I'm usually not big on films like this, but this one blew me away! With the "bad guys" played by Albert Brooks (with a terrific face lift. Didn't recognize him at first!) and Ron Perlman, and a poor soul middle man played by the excellent Bryan Cranston, the action never stops. I wasn't crazy about the songs and electronic music that are used haphazardly throughout, spoiling some of the suspense along with it. Other than that, DRIVE is one terrific ride. My suggestion; buckle up, floor it and see it as soon as you can!