With a summer full of superheroes, R-rated comedies, aliens and damn dirty apes, you’re probably ready for a change. Well, look no further than the teaming of heartthrob Ryan Gosling and Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn to give it to you with "Drive," one of the most unconventional crime thrillers to hit Hollywood in some time.
The film garnered high praise at this year's Cannes Film Festival, where Refn won the Best Director prize; and the buzz hit a fever pitch when the trailer went online in July.
In the film, which opens Sept. 16, Gosling plays a nameless (he's only referred to as "Driver"), unassuming Hollywood stunt driver who has aspirations to become a race car driver. In the meantime, he hones his skills as a getaway driver for hire. But when he sticks his neck out for his cute neighbor’s (Carey Mulligan) ex-con husband, our hero suddenly finds himself on the run from hitmen and mobsters. And that’s when the fun starts.
Here are seven reasons that sum up why we believe "Drive" is one of the fall’s coolest movies.
1. Ryan Gosling
Appearing in almost every scene of the movie, Ryan Gosling's performance is what will make or break the movie for you. He gives an almost silent performance, using his actions and mannerisms to move the story forward. Often sporting a toothpick in his mouth and dressed in a silver jacket with a gold scorpion stitched on the back, Gosling is the epitome of cool as he softly gives slick one-liners like, "I don’t carry a gun, I drive."
2. Too Cool for School
As you’ve probably seen already with the hot pink title on its poster, "Drive" has an unconventional style. But it’s refreshing to see a thriller that takes chances as this movie uses everything from the neon-lit colors of "Miami Vice" to wide-angle shots to our hero walking around in a weird latex mask to produce its original style. And if you're familiar with L.A., you'll be wowed by the refreshing shooting locations that were chosen.
Also Check Out: Ryan Gosling Smooches Carey Mulligan in "Drive" Clip
If you’re familiar with Refn's films -- the "Pusher" trilogy, the badass "Bronson," the gory "Valhalla Rising" -- you know he’s not shy about showing a little violence. One of the fun things about "Drive" is that once you think you’ve got it figured out, something happens that gives you a jolt. Refn doesn’t overdo the violence, but in the moments blood must be shed, you certainly won’t forget it.
4. Pedal to the Metal
Gosling’s character can do anything with a car, and numerous times he shows that to be true. But Refn didn’t want the usual shaky handheld style to highlight the intense chases. Instead, he made use of a "biscuit rig," which was created to film the horse races in 2003’s "Seabiscuit." The camera rig was attached to the car, allowing a stunt driver to steer it while Gosling acted. This rig also gave Refn more visual options for the scenes in the car.
5. Funky Soundtrack
Thanks to the sinister techno-infused tone of composer Cliff Martinez's score (he's also responsible for the creepy sound in "Contagion"), mixed with '80s-style electronica songs from bands like Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, Desire and Chromatics, watching "Drive" makes you want to throw on some parachute pants and dust off your Members Only jacket. But for those who don't want to go that far, we highly recommend getting the movie’s soundtrack.
Also Check Out: Make a Clean Getaway With our "Drive" Giveaway
6. Albert Brooks
Though we’ve been gushing over Gosling's brooding performance, there's one other that stands out. Albert Brooks, who's best known for his legendary neurotic comedic stylings ("Lost in America," "Broadcast News," "Defending Your Life"), is great as the ruthless mobster Bernie Rose. With his witty one-liners and a wicked murderous streak, it's one of the veteran actor's best performances in some time (which has led to Oscar chatter for Mr. Brooks).
7. Ryan Gosling / Nicolas Winding Refn Collaboration
Gosling and Refn worked closely to create "Drive," and if you like what you see, be prepared for more Team Refn/Gosling in the future. The two have signed on to remake "Logan’s Run," and they’ve also got a thriller set in Bangkok in the pipeline.