Genre Grandeur May Finale – Drive (2011) – Dell on Movies


For this month’s final review for Genre Grandeur – Anti-Hero Films, here’s a review of Drive (2011) by Dell from Dell on Movies

In case you missed any of the reviews, here’s a recap

  1. Kelly’s Heroes (1970) – Rob
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Rob
  3. Casablanca (1942) – Rob
  4. Suicide Squad (2016) – Keith
  5. Batman Begins (2005) – Rob
  6. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) – Rob
  7. Drive (2011) – Dell

In addition, I watched and reviewed 4 movies for my companion series Genre Guesstimation.  Only one of them will now be considered among my favorites of the genre.

  1. The 5-Man Army (1969)
  2. Runaway Train (1985)
  3. Oldboy (2003)
  4. *Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Thanks again to Dell of Dell on Movies for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Tony of Coog’s Reviews and it is Political Thrillers.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of June by sending them to polithrilltony@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Tony!

Let’s see what Dell thought of this movie:

______________________________________

I’m a bad blogging buddy.

Let me explain.

Over the last few years, Movie Rob and myself have frequented each other’s blogs. He’s one of the most prolific and fascinating bloggers I’ve come across and I’m well…okay, I guess. Click the link and check it out as soon as you get a chance. For some reason, he thought highly enough of me to have me take part in the various activities going on at his blog. One of those things is “Genre Grandeur.” In case you don’t know what that is, I’ll let him explain it…

The idea behind this feature (Genre Grandeur) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre. – Movie Rob.

For May, Rob asked me to pick. I chose to talk anti-hero films. Yup, time for another explanation for those not sure what this is..

Movies about people who lack traditional heroic attributes but are portrayed as the hero in their story despite doing some bad things along the way. – Dell (Hey, that’s me!)

The only other thing I had to do was write about one such movie. Imagine that. Another blogger was gracious enough to include me in his plans, give me an easy task, and how do I repay him? By damn near missing the month entirely before he sent me a reminder through the Twitter-box. Embarrassing. But you know what they say. Better late than never.

Enough of the apologetic self-pity. Let’s get to it.

Anti-heroes are some of my favorite characters. I gravitate towards regular people with flaws who find themselves in tough positions, or who are just normally bad people, but do the right thing, or at least the thing that saves the day whether it’s right or not. That’s why I love Batman. Let’s be honest. He’s a criminal. It just so happens that he’s trying to eradicate his beloved Gotham of other criminals. But I’m not here to talk about the Caped Crusader. I’m talking someone whose goals aren’t quite so lofty.

I’m talking about Driver in Drive.

Nothing about this guy says hero. When we meet him, he’s driving the getaway car in a bank robbery. We soon find out this isn’t a one-time thing. Turns out he’s a driver-for-hire by local small-time crooks. This is not an occupation for benevolent people. He’s surrounded himself by an assortment of low-level gangsters he hopes will help him break into the movie business as a Hollywood stunt driver. Things are going along, perhaps a bit slower than he hoped for, but pretty much as planned.

Then he meets a Irene.

Driver and Irene are clearly smitten with each other. He’s even fond of her son Benecio. At first, things between them are simple enough. Of course, that changes. We soon learn that she is married and her husband comes home from prison. Not being a total creep, Driver backs off, but finds himself helping her hubby rob a pawnshop. Since things are never easy, that whole situation spirals out of control, Irene’s husband is killed, and now her and Benecio are in danger. That means it’s time to do something heroic. Or, is it? In an abrupt change of pace from the first two acts of the film, Driver basically goes on a killing spree in order to keep Irene safe.

Irene doesn’t necessarily think he’s such a hero. She sees a guy who was involved in the demise of her husband. She also sees him beat someone to death right in front of her. Is she grateful he’s saved her life? Probably. Is she mortified at finding out what this rather unassuming guy is capable of? Definitely. Sure, his reason for committing a string of murders is commendable, but not exactly heroic. By definition, a hero is a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character. Driver’s got the first part of this down cold, not so much on the second part. He’s no noble. He’s a crook trying to forge a relationship with some other guy’s wife and has left a trail of bodies across Los Angeles.

And we love him for that.

Ryan Gosling plays the role of Driver with the same minimalist verve the character is written with. At times, he and Irene (played wonderfully by Carey Mulligan) are both sheepish in the cutest of ways and often communicate wordlessly. The tenderness between them is heartwarming. Who Driver was before he met Irene and the things he does on her behalf are not.

Again, thanks to Movie Rob for thinking of me. I hope I wasn’t too much of a letdown and that you’ll invite me to take part in other things.

3 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur May Finale – Drive (2011) – Dell on Movies

  1. Good review, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention Albert Brooks, who got an Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actor. He got the role because Driver’s writer-director saw the scene in Lost in America where Brooks is chewing out his wife, and he figured Brooks could provide the right level of tension as the villain.

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