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Critic Review - Chicago Reader

Though it easily surpasses most American action flicks, it suffers from the old commercial imperative of making the protagonist a nice guy, something Refn has seldom bothered with in Europe.

September 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (26)
Chicago Reader
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Comments

daveknockwin

David Nguyen

Wait. So you didn't like the movie because the main character is a good guy?

Sep 15 - 12:08 PM

Chris Truth-Patriot

Chris Truth-Patriot



The movie is boring, lacks dialogue, and the 'driver' doesn't have any motive to justify his life risking actions.

The main character shows no personality at all. The movie attempts to sell his blank facial expressions, and limited dialogue as some sort of mystery man. However, this mystery has no clues, nor answers, and is a huge failure. The only mystery to me is how a sub par movie has overwhelming positive review, and why I spent 10 dollars on a ticket.

The main character risks his life on several occasions for a woman he rarely talked to. A 10 second lustful stare down is suppose to be the motivation of the characters multiple life risking actions.

The ending; well, there is no ending! This isn't surprising, based on the fact the bland main character doesn't have any background, personality, motive, or facial expressions. To sum it up; there is no ending because there is no movie. There is no movie, because there is no central theme, or believable motivation.

The fact this movie has overwhelming positive reviews shows the bar has been lowered for the new era of cinematography; or, that critics get a some sort of monetary incentive to sell extra tickets.

Face facts, many people often see a movie based on reviews. There are 10's of millions to be made or lost, depending on critics reviews. When you see a bad movie get overwhelmingly positive reviews; it's safe to assume the movie invested in buying critics.

Sep 20 - 08:15 AM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Don't worry Chris... I just got of the phone with Refn and he said that for the director's cut, he'd add more explosions, double crosses and an hour's worth of exposition on what Driver's life was like when he was a child. Just for you, buddy!

Sep 21 - 09:26 PM

Derek Antos

Derek Antos

I didn't know explaining the premise of the movie was reviewing it properly. This shit is like a middle school written paragraph.

Yes I am mad.

Sep 15 - 12:18 PM

IrreducibleKoan

Sean Pak

Because the protagonist is a nice guy? And I thought I'd heard all the silliest criticisms from all my days on RT. You actually said it surpasses most American action flicks. If that ain't deserving of a fresh, what is?

Sep 15 - 12:51 PM

daveknockwin

David Nguyen

Yeah. And The Shawshank Redemption is horrible too because the main character is a good guy.

Sep 15 - 12:59 PM

IrreducibleKoan

Sean Pak

Travis Bickle was a nice guy. Misunderstood, but meant well. So I guess Taxi Driver is rotten.

Sep 15 - 01:04 PM

Jon J.

Jon Johannesson

Don't forget Forrest Gump, it has to suck for that reason.

Sep 15 - 01:30 PM

Bushleaguer28

Brian Priestley

One short paragraph should not constitute a review

Sep 15 - 12:58 PM

Cody Brown

Cody Brown

What does this even mean?

Sep 15 - 12:59 PM

daveknockwin

David Nguyen

Ryan Gosling's character isn't even good. He's a criminal who falls in love with a married woman for god's sake.

Sep 15 - 01:00 PM

Cody Brown

Cody Brown

I'm in a lol moment.

Sep 15 - 01:04 PM

Imnotazombie

joey mcsweeney

All of the negative reviews for this movie are done by retards, and I'm not just saying that as a fanboy, they really have the worst criticisms.

Sep 15 - 01:36 PM

Brady Wolfrom

Brady Wolfrom

You sure are right about that. The movie is bad because it makes the protagonist a good guy? LOL. Okay.

Sep 15 - 03:52 PM

CharlyS7

Eduardo Perez

Go To hell

Sep 15 - 04:11 PM

robeldritch

Robert Lang

This just shows how it is utterly impossible for a film to garner a 100% rating these days, whereas if you look at about 90% of film noir from decades ago, they're all 100%. This guy's review is the most inane I've ever read. If you're gonna give it a rotten, at least try to come up with something more than that, wtf.

Sep 15 - 08:58 PM

CoreyG

Corey Gallagher

RT allows too many hack writers/critics to contribute to their site, starting to lose credibility to be honest.

Sep 15 - 09:07 PM

w@velength

In Your Dreams

And yet, you would completely fail to define what constitutes a "hack" writer or critic if put on the spot, studio plant. Shove off.

Sep 16 - 09:15 AM

Alex Daniel

Alex Daniel

This movie is goddamn awful. To be an action movie it should have some action...not silent stares and meaningless quasi-conversations. This was the cinematic equivalent of a modern art exhibit: utterly ridiculous and a complete waste of time.....not to mention my $10.

Sep 16 - 07:12 PM

Kelby Peeler

Kelby Peeler

I can see having certain problems with a movie, but calling this movie "goddamn awful" is simply disingenuous. I too had certain issues with some aspects but I wasn't bored in this movie. The action scenes it did have were intense and brilliantly edited. I have never been startled by a gun shot from a movie in my life. There were so many things that were great about this movie that I have to conclude that you're simply trolling.

Sep 16 - 10:41 PM

Alex Daniel

Alex Daniel

Conclude away. You can call me a troll all you like, the fact is this movie is completely overhyped by people that are brainwashed everytime a foreign director comes to tinseltown. If watching a movie where a guy stares longingly at his breakfast cereal (or any other inanimate object in the room) is your idea of exciting and brilliantly edited, then we'll just agree to disagree. I found the movie to be a cheap attempt by a foreign director trying to make a Michael Mann-type movie that completely lacked Mann's most fundamental aspect to ALL his films (hint: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). Sorry but the love story in this was absurd, both at it's origins and in it's believabilty. Without being spoilerish....I'll just ask this question: Did you honestly buy she was still into the guy after the elevator (or even why she would have been in the first place given the complete absence of dialogue between the two?).

Sep 17 - 08:38 AM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Alex - Hey.... I think Alex is onto something! We all like films if they're foreign! Maybe that's why we liked Pan's Labyrinth and Crouching Tiger as well? Can't wait for the next Uwe Boll flick!... Y'know...'cause he's foreign!

Sep 18 - 01:58 AM

Alex Daniel

Alex Daniel

Oh please. Have an American director make pushed (the film Refn is famous for) EXACTLY as it was made in America by an American director and the triology never becomes a trilogy...it stays a one off film and drive never gets made. You want an example of foreign film biased? Takea gander at 'Let the Right one in' and compare it to reviews given to 'Let me in', the FAR better american remake of the swedish vampire film.

Sep 20 - 10:49 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

It depends on what you call better. Let me in was more on the horror side of things. Let The Right One In was more on the metaphorical and love story side. Very different takes on the same source material. Many of my friends preferred the Swedish version. They both had their pluses and minuses.

Sep 21 - 09:30 PM

Adam Di Giorgio

Adam Di Giorgio

That's right...why would Refn do it in America?

Sep 17 - 08:34 PM

Chris Truth-Patriot

Chris Truth-Patriot


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The Real Review * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The movie is boring, lacks dialogue, and the 'driver' doesn't have any motive to justify his life risking actions.

The main character shows no personality at all. The movie attempts to sell his blank facial expressions, and limited dialogue as some sort of mystery man. However, this mystery has no clues, nor answers, and is a huge failure. The only mystery to me is how a sub par movie has overwhelming positive review, and why I spent 10 dollars on a ticket.

The main character risks his life on several occasions for a woman he rarely talked to. A 10 second lustful stare down is suppose to be the motivation of the characters multiple life risking actions.

The ending; well, there is no ending! This isn't surprising, based on the fact the bland main character doesn't have any background, personality, motive, or facial expressions. To sum it up; there is no ending because there is no movie. There is no movie, because there is no central theme, or believable motivation.

The fact this movie has overwhelming positive reviews shows the bar has been lowered for the new era of cinematography; or, that critics get a some sort of monetary incentive to sell extra tickets.

Face facts, many people often see a movie based on reviews. There are 10's of millions to be made or lost, depending on critics reviews. When you see a bad movie get overwhelmingly positive reviews; it's safe to assume the movie invested in buying critics.

Sep 20 - 08:16 AM

Poe Chan

Poe Chan

Saying this film lacks dialogue is like saying a poem lacks words. Nice guy? At one point Irene wasn't sure if the driver was going to save her or eat her. I don't think I've met Gosling's character before -- thank you for that Refn. I've seen McQueen's name bandied around here -- nah, try Boo Radley with a driver's license and a bitchin' jacket made for Elvis. We don't know what was driving that ticking bomb inside the driver -- thank you for that , too. I wasn't sure which way the film was going to go ... thank you for that as well.

Sep 29 - 11:33 PM

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