Movies Noir

Noirvember Reviews: Drive (2011)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Written by Hossein Amini. Based on the novel “Drive” by James Sallis. Starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan.

In November, film lovers celebrate the noir genre. The month of horror (October) transitions to the month of mystery (November). This month, we plan to spam your feed with reviews of noir flicks. We want to talk about the classics, the modern hits, and the obscure gems. Let’s begin with the neo-noir thriller, Drive.

Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a stone-faced stuntman, who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Although Driver has this icy exterior, he has a warm heart for his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan). Irene’s husband gets out of prison, who is trying to leave behind his criminal past. Unfortunately, his former associates want the money that he owes, so they instruct him to rob a pawn shop. Driver assists the husband and the job goes horribly wrong. Driver must make sure that Irene and her son, Benicio, are safe from these criminal masterminds.

The movie is heartwarming, then turns violent out of nowhere. Nicolas Winding Refn shows the beauty of Los Angeles. He gives viewers the beauty, but quickly shows how nasty the criminal underworld of L.A. is. The emotional transition of Driver is alarming, yet satisfying. He begins the movie as a silent, caring individual, who becomes a vicious killer that takes out these criminals. Driver cares about Irene and her son to the point that he’ll commit murder. A curious question is where Driver came from before? Obviously, he has a background and history of violence.

Driver’s chemistry with Irene and Shannon (Bryan Cranston) is perfectly executed with strong performances by the trio of actors. Shannon and Driver has a father-son relationship where Shannon is protective of Driver. Cranston portrays Shannon as an older father figure who happens to run in the wrong crowds where he is oblivious to their machinations. Mulligan and Gosling use body language to show the two characters’ appreciation for one another. The scenes where the two ride through Los Angeles on a starry night is pleasing without the characters having to say any dialogue. They are two people, who enjoy each other’s company.

Drive is a violent, swift ride that will leave an impact on viewers. An example of where the hero, Driver, is as deadly as his foes. Check this movie out if you want to enjoy an homage to classic car chase films and classic noir films.

Overall rating: 5/5.

By Jordan Lash

My name is Jordan Lash. I write about gaming and comics.

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