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Review

Gosling shines in ‘Drive’

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September 30, 2011

Ryan Gosling plays an unemotional, secluded Hollywood stunt driver with a dark side in “Drive.” What do we, as an audience, really know about this man?

Really nothing, which adds all that much more intrigue to his character. You don’t even know his name, but soon find out that he also drives getaway cars for criminals after robberies. He eventually begins a relationship with his neighbor Irene played by Carey Mulligan who is raising her young son while her husband is in prison.

We take a long journey into the build up of this relationship until her husband returns home and her relationship with the driver must relax. The driver stays on as a friend and finds out that the husband’s debts are not all paid off, so he wants to help to keep Irene and her son safe. The heist goes terribly wrong and now the driver is caught up in something over his head. He winds up with blood money from a close business partner that now needs it back. This builds a slow, elegant story of vengeance and chase.

Never did I think I would use the term elegant to describe this movie, but it is really the best way of describing the flow of this picture. The story slowly builds with little dialogue and few actions. You see Gosling’s character slowly open up to his new confidant. With the music, camera work, and flow setting the tone we begin to slowly see an unraveling of sorts among them after the failed heist.

It really isn’t so much Gosling’s character in the first half of the film, as it comes off very lackluster. I wondered what could she actually see in this dull man. As the film progresses we get small glimpses of his evil side. Soon this evil side really begins to show to the point where I even became uneasy in a scene where he was on the beach at night, in a prop face mask, drowning a bad guy. The chills went up my spine as Gosling brought this evil character to light. The supporting cast is all very good with the villains being played by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman and Mulligan as the love interest. Slow story progression can be a bad thing when movies begin to fall apart at the end as “Drive” did. Everyone was dying, the heart felt like it went away, and the overall purpose of the film began to fade. Violence doesn’t always make for a better ending.

Overall, “Drive” wasn’t what I was expecting. I am sure I was not the only one who thought that it looked stolen from the “Transporter” franchise from the trailers. Gosling played a great villain in last year’s “All Good Things” and brings that side of him to this action-thriller. If you have a couple extra bucks and some free time on a weekend go see this movie.

Dustyn Dubuque is a history major and geography minor that has a love and passion for film. He watches over 100 films each year and loves Academy Awards season.