Drive confidently swerves around pigeonholes. Pink scripted credits, seemingly plucked from an 80s billboard, burn over opening shots of the LA skyline, right before plunging into a tense getaway that would make Michael Mann grin from ear to ear. The protagonist — whose proper name is never revealed throughout the entire flick — barely speaks and enjoys donning a disco-inspired scorpion jacket while brutally dispatching anyone (Sopranos-style) who stands in his way. Even the ruthlessly pragmatic mob boss, Bernie Rose, is masterfully played by famed comedian, Albert Brookes.
None of these elements make a lick of sense in a typical crime-thriller, but director Nicolas Winding Refn confidently pours it all into his own batch of über-cool concentrate, backed by an electrified pop soundtrack that any card-holding hipster has had on repeat since seeing it in theaters. It deserved more than just cult status supremacy in our books, but a royal snubbing by the Academy officially certified it’s fate. Here’s hoping that, like Tu Pac, Drive gains more fans in death than it ever had in life.
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