The Driver ★★★

And my love affair with the 70's continues.

Judging by other reviews, it seems mandatory to talk about this movie's relationship with Refn's Drive, so I'll get that over with first. The titular character is a clear inspiration for Gosling's, and there are a few visual references to this film's opening sequence. Beyond that, this is a much more action-driven caper compared to Refn's moody thriller. The inspiration is clear but limited.

The two biggest stand outs here are the chases/stunt driving and the sneering menace in Bruce Dern's performance. There are also several residues of the decade's film noir revival, of which I can't get enough.

The film's biggest weakness is that its minimal plotting and somewhat flat characters make it basically boil down to a simple action movie. The Driver is an intriguing enigma, but it didn't feel like it really amounted to anything. But when it really comes down to it, I'll take a classy and stylish actioner like this over our current bland generic nonsense any day.

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