Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring. Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaacs, Christina Hendricks, and Bryan Cranston
Music. Cliff Martinez/Johnny Jewel
*Nicolas Winding Refn’s previous efforts, Bronson & Valhalla Rising were films I desperately wanted to understand and like. You get the sense that there’s something special about those two works, but that something never materializes. You get strobes of colour in your head, a few notes here and there, but the picture and sound never materializes. It all amounted to so much symbolism and slow burning rubbish that I was ready to write him off. Drive actually works as a proper thriller and not just a good looking lava lamp. It works like the one-two knock of a hammer and 9mm to the face. The long pauses actually work in Refn’s favor; the pacing is spot on; the tension is believable; the plot works as both fairytale and literal thriller pablum.
This is the sleeper hit of the year, folks.