If C was for Contagion, well, you know how I feel about Drive
Thing is, I like Ryan Gosling when he, like, talks and emotes and stuff. I thought he was really enjoyable in Fracture, for example.
But then he was in Lars and the Real Girl, which I also liked, but it seems to have gotten him typecast as the weird silent type. Which is really too bad.
He's definitely working that role in Drive (D+), where he's a guy who drives and keeps his mouth shut. Sometimes he drives for his mechanic boss who wants to start a stock-car team. Sometimes he drives for robbers. Sometimes he drives for the movies. Sometimes he drives for ex-con husbands of his cute neighbor. This last one, predictably, gets him into some trouble. It has to do with the gangsters to whom his mechanic boss owes money, and to whom the ex-con husband also owes money, and a weirdly complicated robbery plan that involves ripping off a pawn shop and the East Coast mob, except no one knows it, and the characters involved devote a large chunk of their time to expository dialogue so that we can keep up.
The movie has a very strange '80s vibe, complete with pink-script titles and synth-heavy musical montages that take the place of, like, well-written dialogue and coherent plot development.
Albert Brooks is reasonably pleasurable to watch as one of the gangsters -- the coolheaded-but-violent one, as opposed to the wild-and-unpredictable-but-violent one played by Hellboy. Gosling somnambulates his way through the film, pausing every now and then to flash that oh so mysterious Lars smile. The ever-delightful Carey Mulligan plays the cute not-quite-single neighbor, and she looks nervous and touches her lips a lot. It's an entirely underwhelming role.
In fact, it's an entirely underwhelming movie. The only thing over- about it is the over-the-top violence. It's quite gruesome, and not in a good way. If you ever want to illustrate the word "gratuitous" for someone, you could use the violence in this movie. When Albert Brooks randomly stabs some dude in the eye with a fork, you're thinking, "Wow, I know exactly how that guy feels."