Saturday, October 8, 2011

Drive (Rhoades)

“Drive” Arrives At High Speed
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

In a television interview, Ryan Gosling admitted he’s always fantasized about being a bank robber, but says he’s afraid to go to jail. “When you ask a bank for money, they have to give it to you, but you always wind up getting caught,” he complained.

Maybe that’s why he likes being an actor. In his latest movie – “Drive,” the new film playing at the Tropic Cinema – he gets to play a bank robber. Well, the getaway driver.

Adapted from James Sallis’s same-named novel, “Drive” tells the story of an unnamed Hollywood stunt performer (Gosling) who becomes a gang’s wheelman. Problem is, when a robbery goes wrong, he finds that a hit has been put out on him and his neighbor (Carey Mulligan). Wrapping up loose ends and all that.

Needless to say, our driver uses his skills to avoid being rubbed out. The car scenes have been compared to “Bullitt.”

Gosling says, “People like Steve McQueen loom large, they’re legends, you’re never going to achieve that. We really tried, in some ways, to honor the spirit of those films with this, but at the same time make something that is our own.”

With such successes as “Blue Valentine,” “Half Nelson,” “The Notebook,” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” – not to mention the upcoming “Ides of March” with George Clooney – Gosling is a hot commodity. He was allowed to pick the director for “Drive.” He chose Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, noted for his “Pusher” trilogy and “Valhalla Rising.”

Starting out as a child star on TV’s “Mickey Mouse Club,” Gosling has done well, as has his Mouseketeer alumni – Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. He appeared in the “Goosebumps” television series, co-produced by Scholastic (where I’d been a group publisher). He went to New Zealand to star in TV’s “Young Hercules.” But his big break came with an indie film titled “The Believer,” about a Jewish guy who becomes a Neo Nazi skinhead (Gosling’s parents were Mormon, although he never embraced the religion).

“The Believer” spurred his acting ambitions. “I suddenly found myself at Sundance, where people were asking me about my craft,” he laughs. “So I had to pretend I had one.”

Truth is, he wanted to grow up to be an American action hero ever since he was a scrawny working-class kid in Canada. “Rambo” was his favorite movie. Emulating his hero, he got suspended from school for throwing steak knives at kids during recess.

Now, at 30, he gets an action hero role in “Drive.” With almost no dialogue, he’s “a time bomb of silent, simmering menace – a thinking man’s action hero in the slow-burn style of Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood.”

“Drive” co-stars Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, and Albert Brooks.
“I think we all felt that the film became officially awesome when Albert Brooks decided to play the villain,” says Gosling. “There’s no one like him, you love him, and it’s even more terrifying if you love your villain.”

As for Gosling’s no-name driver character? He describes him as “a guy who watched ‘Taxi Driver’ too many times ... somebody who felt he had this violence inside of him and was worried it was going to hurt somebody, so he tried to focus it into something good.” Like protecting his beautiful neighbor (Mulligan) and her son from killers.

Ryan Gosling sums it up with a shrug, “I guess I wanted to make a superhero movie but all the good ones were taken.”
[from Solares Hill]

No comments: