Saturday, September 17, 2011
Drive, he said..is what you should see
It makes sense that a quarter mile away from the Regal L-A Live Theater, you'd see a really big billboard for what may be the hottest film around. In this case, the movie would have been more effective than the billboard.
Ryan Gosling has been many things from a romantic lead in The Notebook to a ladies' man in Crazy Stupid Love. He was even Young Hercules a long time ago.
That's why seeing him in Drive will blow your mind. He is a driver for hire. You have him for five minutes, no questions asked, whether it's being part of a robbery or even doing a movie stunt. He's a man of few words, bit he is focused and intense. Just look at the opening scene, where he tries to hide from the cops after a robbery. There's a good reason why he's paying close attention to the Clippers game on the radio. The camera also looks at the back of his jacket, a scorpion embroidered in gold. It is symbolic of what he is: cool and collective until it's time to act.
He crosses paths with Irene, a young mom played by Carey Mulligan. It seems her role isn't that much, but she is also conflicted about things. Her husband is about to leave prison, and she wonders if they can be a real family again. It's safe to say Ryan, known only as The Driver, is keeping an eye on them.
The Driver also has hopes for the future. He and a fellow mechanic named Shannon (Bryan Cranston) hope to get into NASCAR, and figure the Driver can do it for them. They get help from a local hood played by Albert Brooks. Now, forget Brooks' comedies. He ca play a real bad-ass guy you don't want to make angry.It's amazing he never got a chance at this before. It's quite a journey how he starts as a possible sponsor for the Driver's dreams, and winds up as his enemy. He's an easy Oscar nominee only because he does a great job here.
Anyway, the Driver decides to help Irene's husband with a robbery to get him away from the hoods that are threatening him. Everything goes wrong, and it happens so suddenly you'll wonder what happened. That's the thing about this movie: when people get killed, it's done very quickly and very suddenly.
Another unforgettable scene happens in an elevator where the Driver and Irene kiss while a suspicious looking guy is with them. You will not believe what happens after that, but it defines who the Driver is, in every way.
This is a fantastic crime movie that may seem slow, but once something happens, you won't forget it.
I had a chance to see Drive in the "Premiere Cinema" section, which I guess is the "big room" at the L-A Live Multiplex. Still, the #2 screen is also very big and comfortable. So, that's how I spent my first day in Los Angeles. I'll have a busy Sunday and Monday for different reasons, but I expect them to be enjoyable.