Based on a novel by James Sallis, “Drive” is centered on Ryan Gosling as an intense nameless movie stunt driver by day and a driver for criminals by night. His mentor (Bryan Cranston) is set on turning him into a Nascar driver, with financial help from mobsters (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman). It isn’t until Gosling takes an interest in his quiet neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), and her son that his monotone life starts to take a drastic change. (Adding on to the cast is Oscar Isaac and Cristina Hendricks in minor, but strong roles.)
It wouldn’t be right to reveal any more of the film, but what I can say is it rapidly escalates in violence once the halfway mark passes by. And, with the lack of dialogue, there is nothing else to go on besides the unsettling momentum that keeps each character rooted in their predicament. It is a surprising film that focuses on the current state of things, leaving questions to what brought these characters to where they are now and where it leaves them after the chaos has subsided.
The film’s cinematography relays the harsh, gritty feel of L.A., all the while lacing in an electronic based soundtrack that beats through each scene like a death rattle that is reminiscent of classic films, like “Scarface.” As you watch the story unfold as a passenger, you get the feeling that there is no longer a safety net involved. All bets are off and elements will come into play that will grossly underestimate your understanding of just how bad things can become in a matter of minutes. It’s unnerving because just think you’ve seen the worst of it, things gets even worse. However, at the end of all this film’s twists and turns, it is essentially story of an unlikely hero.