Gosling drives in silence

Nathan Fisher

Illustration: Alex Bailey

Hearing the title “Drive,” the average moviegoer would get psyched up for a fast-paced, thrilling ride. However, after a great opening chase scene, nobody does much driving in this 2011 octane-tinged crime film. “Drive,” like its title, has no frills whatsoever and apparently the director believes that silence is golden. No drama, no dialogue: what’s left to watch? The hunk?

“Drive” follows Ryan Gosling, known only as the Driver, a stunt man by day and a getaway driver by night. When the Driver falls for his neighbor Irene, who has a husband in jail and a nice kid, the plot moves along predictably through the first hour. The Driver goes on a date with Irene and when they return carries the young boy into bed, but still only opens his mouth to put in his toothpick.

After about an hour, I was really hoping the movie was going to be over soon. Then the film took an unpredicted U-turn. Irene’s husband comes home and is forced to rob a pawnshop, and the Driver offers to help. Finally the movie shifts out of second gear and: BAM: the husband is shot and killed. The action ramps up as the Driver tries to avenge the death of Irene’s husband. How sweet: well, not really. Enter Albert Brooks (playing a neurotic person as usual: remember the voice of the dad in “Finding Nemo”?). Brooks gives the culinary one-two punch to an employee, a fork in the eye followed by two stabs of the butcher knife to the jugular. Excellent cinematography and the silence, even if it does drag on, dramatically magnifies the gratuitous violence tenfold. However, the excess of blood and gore was shocking and lacked the comic nuance of “Pulp Fiction.”

I saw “Drive” because the plot seemed interesting and because my 15-year-old sister said Ryan Gosling (known for his rock-hard abs) is super hot. Spoiler alert! He never takes his shirt off. Is this a family movie? Absolutely not! Is this a movie to watch on a date? Not so much. “Drive” is a great thriller that keeps you thinking but is really only good to watch on your own, late at night.