Much more than just the coolest film of 2011, director Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive is an instant cult classic and a career defining film for both the Dane himself and lead man Ryan Gosling: measured, memorable and ultra violent. A modern day Taxi Driver with shades of Memento and like a 1970’s Scorsese, Winding Refn appears to be a cut above the current crop when it comes to producing compulsive indie pictures with a semi-mainstream lure. In the hands of a lesser director, Drive could’ve had the facade of a straightforward, pedal to the metal Hollywood action flick. Instead, it has the look, sound and feel of something familiar yet somehow different: the heart and soul of a esoteric European art-house film in the guise of a romantic, idyllic American b-movie.
Gosling’s measured turn affirms his brewing reputation as one of the most gifted leading actors in modern cinema. Expect more from him. Expect more from Mulligan, Refn and expect to hear a lot more about this absolute gem of a film for many years to come. See it if you haven’t already.
Drive (2011), directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, is released on blu-ray disc and DVD in the UK by Icon Home Entertainment, Certificate 18.