I rarely talk about movies these days on my blog, but watching Drive last weekend is the exception. There are brilliantly made movies and then there are just entertaining movies. Drive is simply one of the best complete movies I seen in a while from the execution of how the scenes were made and a style of filmmaking that does not have to resort to fanciness, special effects in other words, to make things work. It is also a rare beauty to see how limited dialogue can be so effective in a movie like this, specifically with the protagonist played by Ryan Gosling (a driver of few words, but knows how to get his job done), and various shots throughout the movie selling the main points beautifully well. Even if it is just a shot of Gosling driving around with a toothpick on his mouth, you get a sense of his emotions before crazy stuff goes down. Drive can not for everyone as the movie starts slow establishing the characters for certain audiences that wants insanity to happen every minute, but its not like that. When the action does begin to take place though, that is when the movie hits hard in a good way. The violence looks and feels brutal when done, yet there is a sense of art when it comes to these scenes because most of the time scenes like these in today's movies feel overblown. Drive makes violence feel real and gritty and the same goes for the car chases as well, which surprisingly there is not a lot of. The car chases didn't resort to movie logic to make them look cool, especially the beginning scene (you can see a part of it above) where sometimes making a scene in a city like Los Angeles is not the solution for escaping the cops. Then there's the amazing soundtrack, which also makes the movie feel special with its 80s vibe.
Last year, I had a similar reaction to another brilliantly made movie with The Social Network, another movie I didn't expect it would be good because of the whole "its a movie about Facebook" feeling, but word of mouf from reviews and the staff/cast involved made the movie the hit it was. Drive is different because its a thriller as it was also a movie I didn't expect much other than being just another action movie with cars thrown to the mix. It is more than that as it is a complete movie from beginning to end filled with amazingly made scenes that make it feel like art at times (especially with simple shots of the driver and fly overs of Los Angeles). The great 80s-like soundtrack is also another memorable selling point as well such as the song above that plays in the intro. The simple plot and pacing issues may irk some people, but Drive is my favorite film of the year so far and worth my highest recommendation watching it at the theaters.