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Drive: movie review
UK Release date: 23 September 2011
Starring:Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
What's the story? Ryan Gosling is the nameless 'Driver'. He's a stunt wheelman by day and a getaway driver by night. He's unstoppable. But he falls for Irene (Carey Mulligan). When things go bad and the mob get involved, he's forced to go on the rampage.
What did we think? Without waiting, we'll happily join the chorus calling it the coolest movie of the year. The icy cold Gosling performance grabs the headlines. But the style delivered by Nicolas Winding Refn is extraordinary, displaying slick underworld intrigue and grimey retro action faultlessly.
Let us start at the beginning. The first 10 minutes of Drive are among the best minutes we've spent in a cinema. Ryan Gosling is on the phone to an underworld contact. "You won't be able to reach me on this phone again," he says. As he hits the road, the first pulses of the sumptuous electric soundtrack are in the background.
What follows is the 21st century update the car chase has been needing. He picks up the thieves then shakes the cop cars and chopper with an amazing four-wheel performance before disappearing. He's robotic. But there's more to him. The character evolves brilliantly as the soft centre is revealed - his only weakness is his love for Mulligan's vulnerable young mom.
Circumstances turn against him and he surprises both the bad guys and the audience later on when a vicious violent streak emerges. Be warned. It will shock you. Mob characters played by Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks convincingly escalate things to a state of war. Only the strongest will survive.
Somehow, with all this crash bang action and macho beef, it's all credible. And it's magnificently put together. Not to be missed.
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