Valentine’s Day means the wife gets to pick a movie.  Her choices boiled down to Drive and Ides of March – Ryan Gosling thing much?  Anyways, we end up with Drive and I can’t complain.  He’s a solid actor.

It has been a while since I’ve seen such a movie.  Inception was the last one, where the character are the story.  See, in most movies the plot is king and the characters just move it along.  You could replace any one of them with a different character and the plot would likely keep moving as is.  Think of any Michael Bay movie.

So back to Drive.  The characters don’t say a whole lot in speech but pounds in maneurisms.  A raised eyebrow, slumping shoulders, big eyes, the whole package from everyone.  Ryan Gosling is really good.  So is everyone else actually, barring perhaps Christina Hendricks in a limited role.  Certainly, there are twists but they aren’t huge.

Car chases are calculated affairs, heck the first one is 100% from inside the car viewpoint.  It’s such a smart take on chases.  One particular crash has a 270 degree swerve and they catch the other car flipping, through the rear view, over one character’s shoulder.  That was spectacular in it’s execution, not in the fact that the car didn’t flip over 10 times.

The music is pure 80’s and used superbly.  Silence is actually silence and the tense scenes have the right feeling.  I am looking for the soundtrack.  The director of photography and the lightning guy should get medals.  It’s like watching a movie of slowly moving pictures.  Nearly every scene is framed and the character’s mood changes as the lightning does.  It’s a different twist.

Finally, the violent scenes.  Compared to other films where they fill in gaps where the writer took a coffee break, here they are plainly insane and jarring.  When it happens you’re blown back at the sheer violence involved, especially from the characters that are involved.  It really raises the stakes and further pushes the characters along.  Even the ending is appropriate.

And you never learn his name.

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