Patrick B’s review published on Letterboxd:
Some thoughts I had whilst watching Drive:
- Trawling through Letterboxd, this seems to be an extremely popular film. As someone who had managed to avoid watching it in the six years that it's been out and someone who absolutely despises Nicolas Winding Refn, I was even more curious to finally watch it.
- Whilst also subjecting myself to Winding Refn's filmography, I'd noticed that he had made numerous attempts to make and perfect a Grand Theft Auto movie. With Drive, I think he has achieved Grand Theft Auto: The Movie, or at least as close as you can get to making that film without it actually being so.
Drive is one of the most gorgeous films I have ever seen, or at least the opening sequence is. The crisp image of those sweeping shots of the neon LA skyline with the pastel pink titles make that sequence literally pop on the screen. A supremely executed scene and car chase with such finesse, and with the burble of a V8, I genuinely wouldn't even bother asking for more.
However, there comes a point in the film - I couldn't really pinpoint where so it would be interesting to go back and have another watch to be able to find it - where it unceremoniously hits the buffers and isn't the same film. That is made worse by the way talents like Bryan Cranston and Ron Perlman, and Albert Brooks to a lesser extent, are not fully utilised, and that makes the film slightly less special than it could have been for me.
I will say this though, THAT scene with Christina Hendricks in the bathroom caught me off guard like no horror film has ever.