Drive ★★★½

Sort of a cross between Shane and Point Blank. It seems gritty on the surface because of the blood and misfortune, but underneath it’s pure fantasy. Let's run it down: we have a detached, introverted, idiosyncratic antihero who possesses superhuman self-control and who is free from inconvenient emotional needs. We, the audience, are invited to feel pity for him because his life is empty (and by a happy coincidence, characters with empty lives are easy to write). He is also capable of extreme violence without incurring any of the psychological trauma that one typically expects to come from seeing human beings turned inside out. His love interest is meek, angelic and strangely free from anger despite her messy situation; her son, whose father is in jail, is staggeringly well-behaved. Violence solves problems without creating new ones. The villains are unguarded by henchmen. The police are absent.

Still, fantasies are fun, and this particular one is elevated far above what it probably deserved by an extremely good cast and some excellent action sequences.

On a side note, movies like this make me appreciate Taxi Driver all the more; it's only human to have violence-fantasies, but they should make you feel a little dirty afterward.

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