This film got a lot of buzz. I hate that. Preferring to know nothing about films when I first see them, the buzz – whether positive or negative – usually results in skewed expectations that ultimately affect my response to the film. This happened with Drive.
I enjoyed watching this film. Thoroughly. But there is little new about it. A stylish and enjoyable ride through a story told countless of times in cinema – the loner forced to become the hero.
My favorite movies are (usually) the ones that use traditional story-telling techniques. For the last eighty or so years, this technique has included dialogue – Drive uses dialogue far too sparsely in the first third of the film to suit me. As a result, I feel the film picks up steam – both figuratively and in reality – as the driver starts to speak. I might as well mention here that “the driver” is not merely the main character’s job description, it is also the only name ascribed to him in the movie. I don’t know – even The Dark Knight and Superman have real names – part of the reasons we connect with them is that we get to know them. What I know of The Driver I like – he’s kick-ass and falls in love. That’s the whole of it though – not much to establish a real connection with the main character in a film.
Another slight disappointment, and I can all but hear the super fans of this film cursing me about now, is the music. Drive has a wonderful soundtrack that features great songs – not a loser in the bunch. In fact, I will probably purchase it and put it on my iPod to listen to while I…drive. But in the film, the songs oft become a distraction. Sorry Drive fans but images and sounds should complement each other in a film – or at least I think so – they shouldn’t compete and that’s what it felt like to me – wonderful images and cinematography, the film’s standouts, drowned by the use of music. Too high, too often.
Having said all that, I will reiterate that I enjoyed the film a lot – mostly because I loved the “look” of it. It’s not a bad story, by any means, and once it picks up steam, I was intrigued by and caught up in the action.
So there you have it…
Oh, and I might as well add that I am not too enthusiastic about sequels currently in the works – The Parallel Parker and The Rubbernecker.