Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Genre Guessimation - Drive

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 Guessimation." In case you don't know what that is, I'll let him explain it...

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) 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.


  1. Drive remains in my opinion one of the best films of the 2010s so far. It introduced me to NWR and I've become a fan of his work ever since. Even as he makes films that are polarizing like Only God Forgives as I'm in that camp of those that liked it.

  2. I'm happy to see a new post from you! I really liked Drive as well, this makes me want to watch it again.

  3. never a disappointment Dell. Thanks for participating!

    appreciate it tons!

  4. Now, go watch Shane for the western, more antiseptic and classically heroic version of the same story.

    (Not kidding, but in truth, I did enjoy Drive.)

    1. I've been meaning to see Shane, forever, especially since I saw Logan. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. LOVE this movie. Driver is such a great character and the relationship between him and Irene is so well-drawn.

  6. I never wanted to see this film from the trailer and the star whom I find a bit annoying but, from your review, I will give this a shot. Anti hero...Bogart was a classic Anti hero so pick one of his films for this genre

    1. It's one of those films that isn't for everyone. My own brother hates it with a passion. Consider this your warning. As for Bogey, and I know I'm on a lonely island here, he leaves me underwhelmed more often than not. I never find him to be the best thing about the movie he's in. The exception is The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. He owns that one, but is clearly the villain.

  7. You and Movierob are two of my fave bloggers. Always great to get your take. And that soundtrack (swoons)