Buckle your seat belts because Nicolas Winding Refn's action-drama "Drive" speeds into theaters this weekend. One of the buzziest films of the year, the moody thriller stars Ryan Gosling as the laconic nameless "Driver," a stunt performer and mechanic by day and getaway wheelman by night, who becomes enamored of his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a sort-of-single mother who's raising a son while her husband serves time. Driver vows to do anything to protect the little family—including helping the just-released-from-prison husband (Oscar Issac) pull an ill-fated heist.
The film gained almost-instant critical acclaim when it debuted in May at the Cannes International Film Festival—and for good reason. This white-knuckle ride boasts an all-star cast, a gritty L.A. attitude and plenty of blood-drenched action that will leave you either queasy or begging for more. We've kicked the tires on this beauty and are pleased to report five reasons you need to see "Drive." Check them out after the jump!
There's no denying 2011 is the year of Gosling. With three films to his name ("Crazy, Stupid, Love," "Drive" and "Ides of March"), the 30-year-old actor is stretching his acting muscles without even breaking a sweat. Gosling may not say much in this flick, but he doesn't need to—it's all in his subtle movements and expressions. No actor has ever conveyed so much with one simple flex of a glove-covered fist—promise.
The Opening Sequence
If it's a chase flick you're looking for, "Drive"'s opening moments will leave you gassed up and raring to go. The movie opens on one of Driver's hired heist jobs, and what follows is a fast-paced trip through L.A.'s glitz-less streets and back alleys backed by a pulsing soundtrack.
Speaking of music... Gosling's made no secret of wanting to create a violent John Hughes movie, and this sensibility is nowhere more evident than in the movie's score—an electronic synth track that hearkens back to the days of the Brat Pack and mullets.
Albert Brooks Talks The Talk
Perhaps Ryan Gosling doesn't have many lines in this film because Albert Brooks already got the best ones. Sample: When Brooks' Bernie Rose first meets Driver, he extends his hand for a friendly shake, but Driver demurs, insisting his hands are a little dirty. "So are mine," Brooks deadpans.
All That Violence
I'll admit to burying my head in my hands several times throughout the film's most bloody moments, but if close-cropped, ultra violence is your thing, this flick's got it in spades. Watch your back the next time you stay in a hotel room with Gosling. Just sayin'...
Will you be seeing "Drive" this weekend?