The Videogum Movie Club: Drive

By Gabe Delahaye / September 19, 2011

Drive! DRIVE! So? Did you see Drive? You were supposed to see Drive. If you haven’t seen Drive yet, put your computer in the trashcan and go see Drive. We’ll wait. So? Did you see Drive? Sorry that you had to buy a new computer, but that’s all in the past now. Holy moly. DRIVE! I’m going to be completely honest with you, I did not see Drive this weekend. Somehow, Kelly and Amrit Stereogum and I saw it in August at a very EXCLUSIVE and FANCY screening. Jealous? Get over it. Change YOUR life. Got a problem? Fix it! Just like they do in Drive! Right? Wait, what movie am I think of? [Ed. note: Casper.] (I think my favorite part of this review so far is that it is focussed, on topic, super readable, and very interesting.) I would have seen the movie again this weekend so it was fresher in my mind and also because I loved it and would like to watch it again, but as they say, life is what happens when you’re busy having to watch the Emmys on Sunday night and you had plans for a month to see a play on Saturday and also you are an adult and sometimes things just happen and you don’t always have to apologize for everything and maybe you should save your apologies for things that really matter. It’s almost INSANE how on topic and good this review is. I hope they print the whole thing on the back of the DVD case and if they change a single word Ryan Gosling better lawyer up because I’m coming for everything. (FUN FACT: Ryan Gosling is in charge of the production of all of his movies’ DVD cases!) (SIDENOTE: the play I saw on Saturday was called Sleep No More and it was fun. I recommend it. It’s kind of like the computer game Maniac Mansion but for plays. It’s only running for a couple more weeks, so if you are in the New York area check it out!) And now back to this very professional movie review of the movie Drive already in progress:

Well, first of all it was really, really good. So there’s that. It’s basically a one-way ticket on the Ryan Gosling train, ALL ABOARD! Ladies, you were right, and I’m so sorry to have doubted you. I still think The Notebook was a piece of shit, but that’s only because there wasn’t enough curb-stomping dude’s faces in elevators and using the claw-end of a hammer to open a strip-club owner’s mouth with the visceral clink clank of metal on teeth right before he force-swallows a bullet. I’m telling you, if the The Notebook had had more of that stuff in it, this would have been a very different blog.

Actually, the gratuitous violence in the movie was my least favorite part. It really seemed a bit much. You could blow Christina Hendricks’s brains out without, you know, BLOWING CHRISTINA HENDRICKS’S BRAINS OUT. Couldn’t you? I think you could. The strip club dressing room scene was actually kind of perfect in that it was certainly very intense and pretty violent and totally affective (and/or effective) but it wasn’t gory. The camera didn’t linger on the thick gurgle of blood pumping out of a severed arterie. People in my audience groaned at some of this, and they were right to do so. Then again, this movie unlike so many movies and TV shows these days, did at least take its violence seriously, which is good. (I’ve briefly mentioned this before, but it is crazy how pretty much any character in any movie or TV show made in the past 10 years will just straight up grab a gun without ever having seen one in their lives before even and blow some dude’s face off and giggle because it’s Cameron Diaz or something and then there’s a one-liner like, “Is my panties showing?” It’s awful. Violence is fine and I have no problem seeing it or it being depicted, but there has to be SOME sense of the fact and moral weight of it, I mean, come on.)

My other (minor) problem with the movie was all the early scenes between Ryan (I just call him Ryan now) and Carey Hannah Mulligan were paced so slow and weird. It just felt like a forced aesthetic that didn’t really work for me. One of them would ask the other one if they wanted a glass of water and they would take ten minutes to say “sure.” It felt stiff and unnatural. Much like the violence, it was a problem that did not affect my opinion of the movie very strongly, which is that this movie is just great. (Similarly to the moral consideration of the violence, I also appreciate that he doesn’t get the girl in the end. Because he shouldn’t. Because he’s a murderer and a fucking dangerous maniac.)

And actually, the slowness of their early courtship did help with one of the movie’s distinct pleasures, which was it’s sudden and drastic shift in tone and pacing. A calm before the storm, if you will. I mean, you kind of know from the beginning that Ryan Gosling isn’t exactly the most up-and-up dude you’ve ever met, but he’s pretty calm and quiet and keeps to himself and he’s GREAT with children, but oh man, that part in the diner when that dude from his past walks up and he suddenly turns very dark and dangerous? It is like a mid-90s pop-punk song where it starts off slow and quiet and then gets REAL LOUD all of a sudden. Those were great songs! And that is why all of the songs sound like that now!

Speaking of songs: the Drive soundtrack is a VERY good soundtrack. It’s weird how there was all that talk about the boring old Daft Punk Tron 2.Dads soundtrack that was actually pretty much just a computerized John Williams score, I mean, not that good honestly, when this was the soundtrack to be talking about. I guess I am just saying that a year ago when Tron 2.Dads was coming out why weren’t they talking about the soundtrack of this movie that no one even knew existed just kidding I know how things work I’m being a little facetious, but the point is the same: hot stuff. Sort of at odds with what was happening on the screen but in the perfect way. Like a long, lazy road trip with the ones you love punctuated by a 300 car pile-up. Download it to your Zune 2day. (And before it came out, even the posters for this movie were good. People don’t really care about movie posters, I guess, but that doesn’t mean some aren’t way better than others.)

Oh, also: good job, Albert Brooks. (That part can go on the front of the DVD case, if Ryan Gosling’s DVD Lawyers are taking notes.)

I think this movie is going to be a pretty big deal. I’m not sure how much money it will make or how long it will stay in the theaters or how many people will throw out their Na’vi costumes for a silken embroidered-scorpion racing jacket, but just in terms of movies that stick with you, and that have a really lasting tonal quality that you carry with you long after you leave the theater, and also iconic performances and stunning visuals that pushes ALL of the right buttons and that leaves you with an overall sense that you just SAW something for once in your goddamned life and that it was GOOD, Drive is one of the first of those that I’ve seen in awhile. Like I said, I saw it more than a month ago (because my life is amazing and I’ve just made really great choices all along the way without any mistakes) but I really wanted to see it again, and I WILL see it again. Probably soon. None of your business.

Drive is a really really good movie. (Not to late to change out the billboards with some new billboards. “Drive is a really really Good Movie.” – Gabe Delahaye, Professional Reviews.)