Stunning, vicious, cold, visceral, glorious, sexually-charged, breathtaking, chilling, gorgeous, arresting – DRIVE is one of my films of the year.

Ryan Gosling is silent and broody to the point of irritation, but carries the weight and predatory confidence of the deadliest scorpion; deadly, quiet, lethal. His ‘Driver’ is an anti-hero of our generation.

The 80s vibe, that riffs from the opening credits, through the electro synth soundtrack and down to the inevitable, violent crescendo, is a perfect fit for the squalid neon backdrop of downtown LA.. But, despite the retro undercurrent, this is a thoroughly modern piece of cinema.

Its dark, foreboding symbolism mixed with an almost continual referential nod to classics gone by (Hallowe’en, Bullit, Scarface to name but three) creates a kaleidoscope of  imagery that – even at its most gruesome – is impossible to turn away from. The use of light, colour, sound, words… or lack thereof on all counts… is encapsulating.

I am in love with this film.

See it.


NB: I’ve just IMDb’d the director, Nicolas Winding Refn, and it turns out he’s directed two films that I’ve been busting to see for ages: Valhalla Rising and Bronson.

They’re next.


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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

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