Not enough can be said about Gosling who just takes every scene he's in and owns it. Part of the pull of the film is lies in the contrasting nature of his character. On one hand he's a oft silent, handsome auto mechanic, caring for his neighbor and her son yet on the flip-side he's a ice-cold killing machine. Let's clear the air, there is some graphic ass violence in this flick, let me say that again THIS MOVIE IS VIOLENT AS HELL. Gosling deserves to get a Oscar nomination for his brooding intensity, but I think the Academy will bitch out because out of all the blood.
His killer support cast includes Albert Brooks (in a rare villainous turn), Bryan Cranston, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, and Oscar Isaac all bring it, but the star of the show here is Refn. "Drive" looks like an art movie; shots linger, colors pop off the screen, and L.A. has never looked seedier. One of the greatest things about the flick is how well all the elements work well together. The cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel is bananas, the original score by Cliff Martinez heightens every scene, and the script by Hossein Amini keeps things focused.
Refn who made the incredibly divisive masterpiece "Valhalla Rising" gets more confident with each film and "Drive" has him operating on top of his game. Good thing one of his many follow ups on tap is a big budget remake of the sci-fi classic "Logan's Run," with Gosling on board as well. In fact Gosling has become something of his dude, the DiCaprio to his Scorsese, with another project called "Only God Forgives," coming next.
Thislalife readers will now that I've been hot in pursuit of "Drive" for a while, even dedicating the Hype Train honor on it before it even dropped, and while sometimes that blows up in my face, no such thing happened with "Drive." The film is still driving figure eights all over my skull right now as I try to gain control of how excellent it is. Go see it, it's the truth.*