Monday, October 3, 2011
I'd really like to see Drive again before I officially declare its greatness. But for now I'll have to settle with it being the best movie I've seen this year. In an unusually dynamite September, Drive is the coolest option for moviegoers right now. Really, it's the coolest option all year. I'm not a huge fan of this method of recommendation, but if you dig a movie like The Professional then you'll probably love Drive. Or if you love Michael Mann, particularly Thief, Manhunter, and Collateral, then Drive is for you. Like Mann's Manhunter, it's a bit over-directed by Nicholas Winding Refn (Bronson). But that's not to say the direction is poor. In fact, Refn's eye for visual structure and ear for music and sound (like Mann) brought him a directing prize at Cannes. Since that festival, Drive has been building up steam, gathering followers, and in some circles getting called a new classic. The construction of the movie is unique, starting off with a brilliant traditional Hollywood suspense scene, then wandering into a romantic, and very silent world before its penetrating and very bloody extended third act. The prevalence of extreme violence in movies these days leads one to believe that there's little room for original or innovative use of carnage. Yet Drive manages to shock us with blood in ways we haven't seen before. It's often said that a movie has too much style and not enough substance. Drive has plenty of both. Yes, I still need to see it again, but I doubt I'll see a better film this year.