I just saw DRIVE for the second time last night. It’s not a great sign that I didn’t remember seeing it the first time. In fact, during several scenes I kept thinking I’ve seen this before and I think I know what happens next before coming to the conclusion that I had, in fact, already seen the movie.
It longs to be Ryan Gosling’s TRAINING DAY. I understand that actors want to play against type and show that they have more sides than a coin. I will even tell you that I love Ryan Gosling—or at least I love his character from THE NOTEBOOK, as I have melded his character with him as an actor. (Joking aside, he was amazing in LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, too.)
But, don’t try to sell me on Ryan Gosling as a bad guy while wearing a silver satin jacket with a scorpion on the back. There are articles online that explain the scorpion is symbolic of the “Scorpion and the Frog” fable. (A scorpion kills a frog as it’s doing him a favor because it’s in the scorpion’s nature.) This is somehow supposed to make him bad-ass. It doesn’t. He looks a little “nerd who got beaten up at school” combined with “trying too hard” for my taste.
If you prefer action to dialogue, this might be the right fit for you, though. There are very few lines of dialogue and mostly the actors stare at each other meaningfully. Or menacingly.
DRIVE showcases another actor who play against type, too. Albert Brooks plays a bad guy, luckily without any satin at all. He is, in fact, perpetrator of several scenes of violence that are unusual and cringe-worthy. So, if you like the gruesome killings in horror movies then you might find yourself pleasantly surprised with the murders in DRIVE.
I really wanted to like this movie—both the first time around as well as the second. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t do it for me. I hope I remember it before watching for a third time several years from now with a sense of deja vu.
If you want to check out DRIVE for yourself, then visit Amazon.com.