Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. 100 minutes. 14A
Three quarters of the way through Drive, Ryan Gosling’s character, a stunt driver who doubles as a late-night criminal chauffeur, takes Carey Mulligan into a elevator and kisses her with reckless, slow-mo abandon as a overwrought romantic soundtrack thumps. Then, suddenly, he turns towards the other guest in the elevator and bashes the dude’s head in with his feet. It’s a morbidly gorgeous scene and a spot-on summary of Nicolas Windling Refn’s way-cool ode to dimly-lit 80s action thrillers.
Drive is definitely not everyone’s speed. But it’smy kind of perfect: both frothy and imminently frightening. It gushes with blood and B-movie lighting and yet, is set to sweeping New Wavy girl pop and features a Pretty in Pink title font. It may sound like a total wreck, but it’s the exact opposite. The two contradictory pieces fit each other like a worn-down driving glove.
Gosling doesn’t say much verbally as the nameless “Driver” but he says plenty with his overly intense eyes. (See: The above photo, which, in its pre-cropped state, has him holding a hammer with like a man with a sick, sick plan..) Notebook fans beware. The Gos’ dark side is scary as shit. A-