Cannes Film Festival is winding down, and the talk of the festival seems to have circulated mostly around Terrence Malick and Lars von Trier. Important names as they are, the standouts of the festival, from a non-attendant point of view, have been such unknown powers as We Need to Talk About Kevin and this latest debut, Drive. An action flick like this is usually seen as an afterthought, but it looks to be far more than just that. I knew there was something interesting behind it with a cast like Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston, but reviews have been so outstanding, and it makes me want to see this film all the more.
Eric Kohn (indieWIRE), B+: "The tense pedal-to-the-medal routine begins in the opening minutes and continues, sporadically, all the way through the bloody finale. Gosling’s driver character—in vintage Clint Eastwood fashion, he remains unnamed—arrives on cue to pick up a couple of late night Los Angeles robbers and jet them away from police. A few swift turns and engine revs later, he nimbly avoids each cop on his tail and vanishes into a nearby crowd, while the beats of a cheesy synth score bring up the opening credits."Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter): "So it’s a fun, if not exhilarating, ride, one sped along with the help of a wonderfully assembled cast. Gosling here makes a bid to enter the iconic ranks of tough, self-possessed American screen actors - Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin - who express themselves through actions rather than words. Sometimes (mostly around Irene), his Driver smiles too much, but Gosling assumes just the right posture of untroubled certainty in the driving scenes and summons unsuspected reserves when called upon for very rough stuff later on."
Brad Brevet (Rope of Silicon) A+: "The signature on Drive is all Refn, from the music down to the mood. He strips his films down to the point they don't exactly hit reality, but a hyper-reality where you can at once connect to the characters, but also revel in the entertainment of its absurdity. Refn's talents know no limits, his combination of action-packed bloody mayhem tied with his patience to include appropriately lengthy moments of silence show a director in control of his environment. Add to that a continually impressive talent for casting the right people and you have a film you will want to watch over and over again."