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Film review: Drive

26 Sep

ryan gosling -drive movie

Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn

A film where rubber burns and bad guys are slapped around normally stars the great modern thespians such as Vin Diesel or Jason Statham. Yet Drive is a different beast entirely. This is a European spin on the American action movie starring a versatile young actor at the peak of his game (yes, even more versatile than Diesel or Statham!) Ryan Gosling is ‘Driver’, a Hollywood stuntman by day and a getaway driver by night. This quietly intense loner gets a glimpse of another life when he falls for his neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan), yet ‘Driver’ is a criminal and as we all know crime never pays. With its 80s electronic soundtrack and pink font titles this slickly made L.A. noir has cult classic written all over it. Gosling does his best Steve McQueen impression while Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman provide a credible threat as the gangsters ready to run ‘Driver’ off the road. This is a brutal yet visually stunning revenge drama from the director best known for the Pusher trilogy and Bronson. If you’re a bit squeamish be warned (Nicolas Winding Refn does have a thing about heads being bashed in) but if you’re made of stronger stuff then strap in and enjoy the ride.

Rating: 4/5

Review by Ewan Fraser

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Film review: Warrior

26 Sep

warriorDir: Gavin O’Connor

Sometimes beating your brother senseless really is the only way to show that you love him. This crowd-pleasing piece of nonsense makes no attempt to break any new ground but as The Wrestler and The Fighter showed there’s still mileage left in a good old-fashioned underdog story. Estranged brothers, Tommy (Tom Hardy) and Brendan (Joel Edgerton) find themselves all oiled up and ready for the ultimate family reunion when their paths cross in a mixed martial arts championship. Will they find forgiveness and redemption in the fighting ring? It doesn’t take a crystal ball to work out. Happily bulldozing through every sports movie cliché going, Warrior is only redeemed by the performances of its two beefcake leads and an outstanding turn from Nick Nolte as their recovering-alcoholic father. A must for all fans of the Rocky movies, it’s hard not to admire a film that so successfully pummels the audience into submission. Now tap it out!

Rating: 4/5

Review by Ewan Fraser