First of all I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, but the dialogue (or lack there of) sucked. The awkwardly long pauses and face close ups seemed like way too much to me. The scorpion jacket, brutal violence and cool and the Bullet-esque car scenes were cool as shit. I really enjoyed the music too which surprised me because I’m not really into club music at all. If Ryan Gosling’s character was the only silent and hardened character it would have been a huge improvement for me, every other character shouldn’t come off so bleak and hardened. All in all a lot of what disappointed me was that it didn’t live up to it’s exhilarating opening car chase scene that felt as cool as anything Steve Queen ever did. What did you think?
Drive, Mullholland Drive, and The Diving Bell and Butterfly are in my opinion the 3 best films of the 2000’s.
I went into this movie thinking it was going to be a cool throwback to the great action/thrillers of the seventies. The open scene had me thrilled, I was totally into it and thought it would be a great film. As the film progressed I became disappointed. The music started getting to me and the long slow motion pauses reminded me of a cheapie straight to video eighties movie.
However, there were times that the movie thrilled me but the thrills weren’t consistent and in my opinion it seriously hurt the movie. There was a great movie in there but it somehow got lost in the interpretation.
This type of movie has been done right. Walter Hill did it in 1978 with The Driver. The Ryan O’ Neal character is mostly silent and the characters around him supply most of the dialogue. The landscape of the city is perfectly seedy for the noirish like quality and the action is thrilling.
As far as Drive goes, if they had watched The Driver more often, they might’ve grasped the concept a little better.
There’s already a pretty fair discussion of Drive here .
Shhh, Matt. We need more DRIVE threads.
This movie rocks.
“The scorpion jacket, brutal violence and cool and the Bullet-esque car scenes were cool as shit.”
Ever taken a Rorsach test?
Watched The Driver and I completely agree with you. You know exactly what I’m getting at, similar to The French Connection or Bullet. This is what I was hoping for. I disagree with you on the music though, I thought it was cool and I generally don`t car for techno or club music. It kind of had the same effect as jazz in 70`s movies.
I thought the music was cool and I actually found the minimal dialogue refreshing, especially in an action film. Usually action movies rely on the same cheap gimmicks and one-liners to keep viewers interested, but this film was like a lean, powerful animal. Sleek, poised, and incredibly enjoyable to watch. Less is more really works in this film for me. The soundtrack was fuckin RAD! All of that dreamy bedroom/noir pop put me right where I wanted to be, especially the College song at the end and the Kavinsky song in the opening sequence.
And that damn Ryan Gosling- what a FOX. damn.
Check out my short review on the film’s page. I didn’t think it was a bad movie. I completely agree that more films like this are needed. They should replace the phony actioners being produced by those like Michael Bay. However, I will also agree with the title of this thread by saying that this movie could have been much more.
It’s all a matter of expectations. Indeed, after the Cannes talk and the following raving reviews, I was also expecting one of the year’s masterpieces, so I was a bit disappointed. In general, it’s quite a good movie. But maybe this sense that it could have been better is implied by the film itself with a lot of loose ends inside.
The further away I get from my single viewing of DRIVE, the more and more it seems to be complete rubbish.
Drive is part of what I think is a new / growing trend in genre filmaking to deconstruct (if I may use that perhaps overused word) thrillers and make them, in a certain sense, “un-thrilling” – or at least un-thrilling by traditional standards that include concepts like “sensationalism,” “spectacle” and “viewer catharsis.”
For now I will end my first ever post here by just saying…
I love this trend, and will make a point to write more about it soon when I am not supposed to be doing other things in my office / workplace.
Drive is one of the best movies I have seen that has been made in the past twenty years.
very cool movie but also just kinda lacking in anything beneath that coolness. just reminded me of sofia coppola, but at least somewhere was kinda touching. the opening sequence in drive is great but the rest of it just seemed perfectly put together but deprived of anything that could give it a bit of depth beyond the great style. also, and i know its meant to be a bit retro – i loved the music – but i dunno, for a film with this much hype, i wanted it to say something about the modern world, not one that reminded me of variously, david lynch, sofia coppola, and old LA noirs. i know this isnt a new observation, but it really WAS just grand theft auto the movie. all the characters just seemed to be out of the little sequences you get when you play the game.
also, i just wanted more driving.
im also not a huge carey mulligan fan (liked an education though) so seeing her in this where in the book it was a latino woman in her place, was a bit annoying too. that would actually have made the film more interesting. with mulligan there, it just becomes another typical blonde 80s throwback hollywood couple.
“i know its meant to be a bit retro – i loved the music – but i dunno, for a film with this much hype, i wanted it to say something about the modern world, not one that reminded me of variously, david lynch, sofia coppola, and old LA noirs. i know this isnt a new observation, but it really WAS just grand theft auto the movie”
For me, Drive is the best film that was made last year on the modern world, or a modern condition (the other being Melancholia). I’m not sure that Refn’s reading Baudrillard, but to me, the elevator sequence is one of the most beautiful sequences in recent memory, one of both getting at the hyperreal but also getting at a kind of primal physical existence, something that, alternatively, Dumont treats at length, especially in Twentynine Palms. That, for me, is the link to the late 70s and early 80s, a time where this kind of strange post-industrial malaise sets into being, captured by Refn with an impressive handling of motion, speed, and especially sound.
As for Mulligan, I’d say her sincerity marks her as an actress, and that that departs from the seeming airheadedness of many of the roles for women in 80s actioners?
@ TODDJ I had never heard of Twentynine Palms, and luckily one of the libraries where I work has a copy of it, so I will have to check it out. Thanks!
I appreciate your reference to Baudrillard too. I think Refn is working very intensely at with things we could call “postmodernist operations” (pastiche, deconstruction, signifier/signified relations, etc.) in his films generally, and he brings it to a highly refined level in Drive.
One of the things I found utterly fascinating in Drive is the way that even though the story is set in the current era, it vigorously references crime films of 20+ years ago. Even the font style and color used for the opening credits struck me almost like a kind of lightning bolt when it first came on screen. For viewers familiar with – in particular – the work of Michael Mann during his period from Theif (1981) through Heat (1995) (which period includes the Miami Vice and Crime Story TV series as well as the masterpiece Manhunter(1986)), there is a rich tapestry of sensual reference flashing across the screen in Drive. There is almost a literal way in which the dramatic energy of certain scenes in Drive draws (at least partially) charge from viewers’ recall of films of that earlier era.
I think Refn is very different from Tarantino, to bring up another “postmodern operator” – so to speak, in his refusal of “clever” or “tongue-in-cheek” homage to earlier influencing works. Refn’s films have the (to my taste) advantage of a somewhat heavy “Scandanavian” seriousness underpinning them. Yes, he is playing in a sandbox of generic references, but there are also powerful life-and-death stakes that his characters are working under the heavy yoke of in each scene. Refn uses references to other genre films to deepen this seriousness and draw connecting lines to high-stakes ideas in other crime films, rather than to give viewers a kind of light, entertaining “fan service” (to borrow a term from anime).
I could go on all day about Refn and Drive, but I’ll stop here to prevent this from turning into any more of a horrble “wall of text” posting.
was drive set in the present day? it seemed like it was set in in neither the past or present (or both). thats what stopped it from feeling like it was saying anything about 2011 for me, instead just making it another satisfying bit of 80s noir cool for an era where we seem happy to wallow a lot in the past. i liked that it wasnt kitsch or tongue in cheek/showing off its references, but at the same time it felt alot like it was a bit of an interesting pastiche/twist on a lot of previous movies, a bit too intertextual/spot the reference, for it to really stand on its own.
The “stand on its own” issue is an interesting one for me. I have over the past several years been getting an increasing sense that there are more filmmakers today (I suppose the proably always were) who are consciously or unconsciously starting to play with the idea that they can make films (and that these films will find an audience) that function as part of a complex of films and may therefore really NOT “stand on their own” very well in the purest sense.
Certainly this is true in the most crass way with trilogy and series films like Harry Potter, Twilight, Matrix, etc. I think it is also the case with filmmakers who work very firmly in certain perhaps more narrowly defined genres that there is an ever increasing expectation that viewers bring with them a viewing history to each new entry in that genre.
Also, I think there are certain “auteur” (I can’t NOT use that in scare quotes because I have mixed feelings about it as a concept) filmmakers (David Lynch, Wong Kar Wai, Jim Jarmusch, others?) who, to a certain extent, have started to remake the same film over and over (in the best possible sense), with each iteration building on previous ones as a kind of “theme and variation” which only finds its richest flavor when consumed in the context of the director’s other films.
All that to say that I think sometimes it is in a way better if a film cannot “stand on its own” very strongly – that sometime this effect can make for a better, richer film from a certain sideways perspective.
Drive was good, not great.
I like it because it is nice to Carrie Mulligan and a good mother who falls for the handsome Driver. I cried at the end LOL.
re: auteurs making the same film over, i think of someone like haneke, who returns over and over to a lot of the same themes, but the films dont benefit from you having seen his previous ones, they work as stand alone films. i think auteurism is different from what someone like refn was doing with drive where he admitted following and studying certain fims very closely before making it. with auteurism its just the directors own personality coming out again and again, with the kind of studied homage/non-homage way of filmmaking, its more conscious, its almost as if he was scared/not concerned with adding anything new to the lineage he was making a tribute to, he was happy for it to exist in that little bubble of superficial homage, and leave it at that.
great looking movie, but its basically just a film made of little segments like the small cartoony bits in between the gameplay in GTA or like watching a film of narrative skits lol.
*dont necessarily benefit
i wish this forum let you edit posts!
I saw “Drive” last night and apparently found it a lot more interesting than many people here.
By stripping the film down to its barest components, Refn bypassed a lot of the genre’s trappings and revealed the characters for what they are: overgrown children. The driver’s “cool” (his jacket, his poses, his car, his job, his dialogue) comes across as studied, self conscious, his violent outbursts like tantrums, his idea of a date to go for a drive and skip stones. Shannon’s dream is to work in the stock car racing industry and has no idea how the real world works. Nino steals from the mob because they make fun of him. Irene seems like too much of a child to have one.
The film was also never less than visually inventive, the use of color was inspired and the pacing and dependence on silence contrasted very well with the loud, quick, blink and you’ll miss it explosions of violence. About the only thing in the film I didn’t appreciate was the sequence involving Nino’s death.
I’m not sure I would go so far as to call it a deconstruction because the film does something rarer: it deconstructs the genre while completely reveling it. It has its cake and eats it too. I was very impressed.
It was completely style over substance. That’s totally fine, Michael Mann does the same too. But Michael Mann’s best films have lots of substance that even the style has to keep up.
Drive’s substance was left a little wanting. If the plot was a little thicker, man, this would’ve been absolutely amazing.
I find that I like Drive better as an idea in my head. The music, the images, the vibe. When I watch it though, it’s a little less glamorous.
I think it is interesting how Drive comes across as kind of “tuned to the viewer’s wavelength” or not depending on the viewer (and perhaps even the viewer’s state of mind at the time of viewing).
There’s a way in which the characters come across as being on a fine line between being fully drawn human characters, and portraying “ideas about human character traits” (and therefore seem kind of “hollow” or “flattened”). The film’s plot also walks a similar line between being a fully drawn story within the crime genre, and a meta-narrative that refers to and discusses ideas drawn from that genre.
“I’m not sure I would go so far as to call it a deconstruction because the film does something rarer: it deconstructs the genre while completely reveling it. It has its cake and eats it too.”
No shit! Everyone who dislikes it realizes that! But does it say anything/make us feel anything? No, not really. It’s stylistically complex, fine, but Wong Kar Wai and Quentin Tarantino make stylistically complex and thematically complex films, at the same time, and yet Refn’s film isn’t seen as being pretty shallow/lazy?
But whatever. Drive works as a really pretty music video the other half of the time.
For one thing I happened to explain in my post at least part of what I felt the film was trying to say. For another, a film’s style IS part of its content, unless you believe it is a director’s job to simply point a camera in the general direction of the actors and press record. Framing, pacing, what is shown on screen, when it is shown, what isn’t, color schemes, angles, music cues et all are (or should be, in the hands of a good director) at least as important as what is stated outright through dialogue.
I don’t see why it bothers you so much that some people seemed to like a film that you did not and are capable of expressing why, but if you are complaining that " Drive" didn’t make you feel anything (by which I am doing you the favor of assuming you mean it wasn’t an emotional experience, since I loathe films that seek to tell me precisely what to feel and when to feel it) and are using Tarantino as a counter-example…well…
A 3 star film. The first getaway was good, the rest not so