“Drive” takes a wrong turn
Todd Miller | Collegio writer
I learned an interesting lesson from “Drive.” If you take a boring movie and add a bunch of deaths, you get a really boring movie with a lot of dead people.
Don’t go into this movie expecting it to take off right away. The film spends the first 50 minutes explaining what is going on. Driver (Ryan Gosling, (yes that is what he’s known as; in all two hours of the movie, he is never given a name), is a part-time mechanic, part-time movie stunt driver, and part-time criminal and is considering becoming a NASCAR driver with the financial backing of Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks), a mobster. He soon falls in love with his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), but his interests are interrupted when Irene’s husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), is let out of prison.
However, Driver is pulled back into crime because of his desire to help Standard, who wants to wash his hands of crime and pay off protection debt he amassed while in prison. A simple robbery turns out to be so much more and pulls Driver further into the world of organized crime.
That is the best I can do to make the movie sound interesting, but I’ll still defend my poor opinion of it. The movie’s opening scene can easily draw you in as it shows off Driver’s driving ability. As soon as it ends, thoug
h, the film becomes a string of extremely dull scenes for half the film. If I hadn’t needed to watch the whole thing, I would’ve taken a nap right there in the theater.
The film does pick up a little in the second half, but only in that there’s actually something to look at. Although there are a lot of deaths, it still manages to be uninteresting.
The actors themselves did a good job with the roles they were given and it was just the writing and story of the movie that dragged it down. Even though Driver is the main character, he has relatively few lines, particularly in the first half of the film. I’d estimate Driver doesn’t speak for the first 15 minutes.
One thing I’ll grant the film is that it wasn’t particularly predictable. There was just so little to go on that I wasn’t sure where the plot would go. Most of the time, I knew when something was going to happen just before it did. Part of that could be blamed on the movie not drawing me in, but I’ll let it stay at that.
Something I liked in the film was what they did with sound. Although it is technically an action movie, there were hardly any of those cliché songs that usually go with them. Instead, there was a lot of electronic, environmental pieces in the soundtrack. The film wasn’t afraid to make good use of silence. It was very neat to listen to, but I don’t think it worked well for this movie. It just didn’t seem to fit. That might be because of what I’ve come to expect from action films, so it’s a tough call.
Overall, “Drive” wasn’t outright bad, but it didn’t have a lot going for it, either. It’s boring, and takes at least half the movie for anything worth watching to happen. It may be worth seeing for the nice audio-ambiance.