Monday, September 19, 2011

Drive (2011) good acting, razor thin story, I'm not buying it

If you read, you will know Drive (2011) is the current hot-flick. It is making a lot of waves with the critics. It isn't making a lot of money, however, given it's low-budget characteristics, it will probably be seen as a big success.

I saw it last night, and I am not buying in. I'm not drinking the Cool Aid. I give it the thumbs down.

Why? I just had a conversation with my dad and one of my coworkers on this very subject. Every movie ever made can be divided into two halves: The first half is pure story. The second half is acting.

If you ask me, the story is by far the more important component. The story gets you 75% of your grade. Great acting will only get you 25% of your grade. It is far easier for me to forgive a great story with poor acting than a poor story with great acting. The play is the thing, as Shakespeare says. Just as surely as you can't polish a turd, great acting can't make a poor story good.

Most of the people who dwell on planet Earth are fans of the story first, and acting second. I am in this category. However, there is a strange tribe of performance artist in this world who are fans of acting first, as the story is just an excuse to see some great acting. I will never understand this group. As long as I may live, I will never understand these people.

Unfortunately, Drive is a razor-thin story. It is also a very hackneyed and cliched story. There are some great acting performances, but these performances just can't polish the turd that is this story.

What is this story?
  • It's a story about the slimy underbelly of disorganized crime in Los Angeles
  • Ryan Gosling reprises Jason Statham's role as the transporter. He is a professional driver for the disorganized crime factions of Los Angeles.
  • It's an unrequited and frustrated love story in which Gosling falls in love with the semi-married MILF. He subsequently tries to help her jail-bird husband out of a jam for the sake of the kid.
  • There is a standard rote, proforma heist and double cross.
  • Then we have the compulsory revenge-out-of-a-jam sequence.
  • It is a very low-cost movie, made at home in L.A. A couple of television style car-chases are the big expenditures.
  • The script was automatically generated by script-o-magic machines.
Anything else? Not really. You've seen it all 20 times now.

Folks, I am calling the producers out for yet another attempt to market Ryan Gosling to the single mothers of this world. This is already his strongest demographic, and they are trying to profit from it. Soon, this movie will be in heavy rotation on all the girly channels like Oxygen and A&E.

So the acting performances are strong? So what? What does this amount too? What does this purchase us? Does this get us a better story? Nope. It's all for naught. This is a very forgettable movie. In two years time, no man (with an emphasis on the gender man) will remember that this movie was ever made.

With that said, there is some very interesting Astrology happening in this movie. For me, this was really the only interest aspect of the procedure.

As you may or may not know, Ryan Gosling is a Scorpio. Ryan Gosling is a November 12, 1980 Scorpio. He happens to walk around all movie long wearing a white racing jacket with a big gold and orange scorpion on the back. He even recounts the story of the scorpion and the frog to the mafia boss he's gunning for. It's interesting that many have described his performance as extremely intense. If you look up Scorpio characteristics, intensity is #1, jealousy is #2.

Bryan Cranston, Gosling's business partner and budy, just happens to be a March 7, 1956 Pisces. What do we know about Scorpio and Pisces? These two water signs frequently team up. This is a classic match up.

Cranston and Gosling are both under the shield of a mafia boss played by Albert Brooks. He is a July 22, 1947 Cancer, cusping on Leo. What do we know about Cancer? It's the Cardinal leadership sign of the water clan. So we have a Pisces and a Scorpio under the leadership of a Cancer... hummmmm...

And they have great acting chemistry together.

Then we have Carey Milligan, Ryan's MILFy love interest. This is the clean-miss and the blow-it point of the movie. She just happens to be a May 28, 1985 Gemini. This is why I didn't buy the romance and I wasn't feeling her. If she had been born 1 week earlier, everything would have been just fine. I didn't feel any chemistry between these two. I am pretty sure there wasn't any.

If you guys had just cast Jordana Brewster or Jessica Alba as Gossling's love interest, the movie would have been twice as good... but that wouldn't have gotten us that far. Next time, you cast a hot Taurus woman versus Gosling. You will see him spark-up big-time.

Then we have Oscar Issac, who plays Carey's jail-bird husband. He is a January 5, 1980 Capricorn. He has good acting chops, and he worked extremely well with Gosling.

I have been noting lately how often Scorpios and Capricorns team up. It seems to happen all the time. I would have guessed that there would be more power struggles between these two, but they seem to have a strong affinity for each other.

Then we have Ron Perlman, who plays the really, really bad mafia guy. He is an April 13th, 1950 Aries dude. He is Gosling's arch-nemesis in this movie. Perlman is the guy that Gosling just has to kill. What was I just telling you about Aries and Scorpio? Deadly enemies in most cases. These guys just don't like each other. It just might be the worst of the fire-water conflicts.

I find it interesting that the water sign scorpio drowns the fire-sign aries in the ocean. What a terrible way for a fire-sign guy to be extinguished...

Somebody in Hollywood is absolutely playing around with astrology.

Despite some pretty good ensemble acting, this movie still doesn't make the grade. I give it a C-.