Friday, April 27, 2012

Drive


Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Rated: R

Every girl I know has fallen in love with Ryan Gosling in the last year. I’m no exception. Besides the hilarious tumblr posts that portray him as a sensitive poet, success with “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “The Ides of March” both earned him Golden Globe nominations. Though I’m a little late seeing it, “Drive” shows us another side of Gosling – he can play a badass.

The song playing during the opening credits (“Nightcall” by Kavinsky and Lovefoxxx) sets the bar for a killer soundtrack. In a high stakes opening scene, we’re introduced to a stunt car driver, assisting a robbery. He’s cool under pressure and sports a toothpick in his mouth, though when something goes wrong, I don’t know how he doesn’t swallow it. This awesome intro scene leaves us wanting more, but instead we get a too long (and too slow) exposition.

Gosling’s character is never given a name, but we know he’s a baller behind the wheel, and works as a mechanic for Bryan Cranston. Huge fan of Cranston - loveable on “Malcolm in the Middle,” brilliant on “Breaking Bad,” and shines in this supporting role. He is crippled and vulnerable, and he’s the closest thing to family Gosling has. That is of course, until he meets Irene (Carey Mulligan - love her!) and her little boy. As soon as they’re introduced, Gosling departs his bad boy image and becomes a shy yet flirtatious gentleman as he bonds with this pair. Mulligan is a natural beauty and effortlessly portrays a believable mom. The audience is forced to wonder the true relationship between Gosling and Irene - does she fall for him romantically? Or does she just appreciate having a good father figure/role-model for her son?

The plot seems to go a bit awry for more reason than one when Irene’s husband, Standard, gets out of jail. Though he’s slightly threatened by Gosling’s relationship with his family, Standard asks for his help in getting revenge on some bad dudes. Gosling choosing to help could not have been a worse decision. 
 
Albert Brooks is the heartless antagonist, and the gore starts halfway through the film. It’s not as bad as I was anticipating, though it definitely warrants an “R” rating. Unconventional action scenes feature opera music and slow-motion cuts. This was innovative, but took me out of the scene.

Though the ending leaves some questions, “Drive” takes you on a great ride. It seems Ryan Gosling can do no wrong.


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