I Watched This Is 2012: Drive

“In trying to figure out who would do something like this, the only way to make sense of this is that this is a guy that’s seen too many movies, and he’s started to confuse his life for a film. He’s lost in the mythology of Hollywood and he’s become an amalgamation of all the characters that he admires.” -Ryan Gosling

I liked Drive a lot on my first watch. That was about six months ago, and I didn’t dig too deeply into it. On my return viewing, a ton stood out to me. As a matter of fact, Drive absolutely haunted me the second time around – enough that it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite movies of all-time.

"You know, we're here celebrating but it's a shameful thing… what I did. And I have a lot of making up to do to everyone. But second chances are rare. Right? And that's worth celebrating." -Standard

In many ways, this movie is like Fight Club. It’s based on a novel that conceptualizes its main theme (the former’s being fighting, and Drive’s being driving, of course), but then revolves around it to build an intricate, depthful plot and extensive development of characters. More elemental concepts of the two films can be found in the main characters, who aren’t given names in either movie. Rather, they are more representative by their intrinsic personalities (Gosling hardly ever says more than a few words in Drive) and the way their world impacts and affects their actions. This leads to their overall fate.

Although Drive is a lot like Fight Club in its huge dimensions and gleaming thickness, it’s its own kind of monster. Much of that beast is Ryan Gosling, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite Hollywood actors. In Drive, his actions are superficial, but they have a resonating impact on both his life, those around him, and the audience. Coming into play here is pure substance. Each scene feels cut to perfection, and the dialogue is drawn out to create dynamic, suspenseful drama. Gosling fits his role perfectly, giving the film a sleek and physical, yet human feel. His character brings a quality that many action heroes don’t have: shyness. But his shyness makes him unique; I couldn’t imagine anyone else performing such an actions-over-words character – and at the exceptional level that Gosling does.

"Can I talk to you? I won't keep you long. I have to go somewhere and I don't think I can come back. But I just wanted you to know. Getting to be around you and Benicio was the best thing that ever happened to me." -Driver

Another aspect of Drive that makes it such an unbelievable movie is its overall feel. The serenity of the film – from its chilling soundtrack to its sleek attitude – contradicts its gritty, violent nature. It rise up with slow moments to the very pinnacle of suspense, then falls with immense action and grotesque violence (and it wouldn’t have the same effect if it was any less bloody). The music gives off an 80s vibe (buzzing electronics with distorted vocals and cool, mesmerizing rhythms), and it fits the picture perfectly. In fact, it’s paralyzingly good, especially “A Real Hero” and “Under Your Spell.” I cannot get enough of it.

If there’s anything Drive has, it’s drive. The title of the movie is really a double entendre. The woman that sued FimDistrict because it wasn’t about driving should really reexamine the film and its true meaning. Because the pistons and cylinders that drive this film help make it a phenomenal bare-bones crime thriller, and a haunting piece of cinema that will continue to amaze me for years to come.


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Author: Tim Dodderidge View all posts by
I'm a student at the University of Kansas hoping to major in journalism. I love Christopher Nolan films, eating at Taco Bell, and playing indoor soccer. I also like to watch How I Met Your Mother and enjoy writing poetry.

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