I am going to be critical here not because I didn’t like Drive, but rather because I thought it could have been more entertaining. With a cast that included such talent as Gosling, Cranston, Perlman, et al, there is definitely a lot missing from this film. None of the characters are thoroughly developed and the actors talents were totally undercut by the overstylized, mumblecore, dialogue. In my opinion this a case much like Lost in Translation, where the film’s script is so bad that it presents actors in an entirely new and “raw” light to the viewers, who then confuse this rawness with quality. I’m not sure who to blame for the Drive’s shortcomings but producers put together a good cast only to fail at using them to their fullest. The film’s lead character has an almost constant mood music backdrop that makes it impossible for him to own a scene’s emotion using any of his own talent. This leaves the viewer with little to no empathy for any of the actors.
Then, if you take away the artistic cliches that provide the indy-film feel, I’m afraid that what you have left is nothing better than the silly, and impossibly conceived shenanigans that the Fast and the Furious franchise has offered us time and time again. In the opening scene a car outruns a helicopter to evade capture and in another a car spins 180 degrees to drives backwards at what looks to be about 50-60 miles per hour while hardly pushing up the engin rpms at all. And what was with those driving gloves? He wore them everywhere!