Drive ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

100/100

"Sorry about the noise."

"I was gonna call the cops."

"I wish you would."

Disciplined, intoxicating cinema; a nuts and bolts crime thriller titillated through Nicolas Winding Refn's vivid neon aesthetic. Formed by gentle smiles and intimate, silent romance, Drive continues to electrify viewers because its stakes are based in unspoken feelings and heavy hearts. "A Real Hero" fills the air as the Driver, Irene and Benicio visit paradise, if only for a little while before trouble shows up back at home. Oscar Isaac's somber performance still casts an uncertain light onto the film's searing moments of connection; an aura visually evident by Isaac's shadow cast against the wall during a hallway conversation between the Driver and Irene, stretching out against any sort of path that these two might have had. The head smashing, neck stabbing second half is an extension of this frustration; a contrast between fantasy and reality, actions and consequences (this entire film essentially hinges on a romance that snowballs into a fucked-up plan gone wrong story). Shannon meets his end with a calming, easing demeanor slicing open his arm, a reaction to a "back luck" situation as well as a sorrowful goodbye to a business partner. Refn digs deep into the flesh and blood of the characters not just for the viscera, but for the aftermath that lingers, flashing on and off like reflecting headlights in the distance. Gotta love how the final act turns into a horror slasher if it was built around the killer's POV and dolled up by hallucinogenic, sizzling images (the "Oh my Love" sequence cuts to a laughing mobster after a lonely character intro shot in slow-mo, showcasing obliviousness in the face of danger). Pretty much a perfect movie, sporting a just right runtime, a cast led by an iconic presence by Gosling, and immaculate, heavenly visual/aural elements. This thing is going to live on forever.

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