Drive: It's Camp

Ohmguh, go see Drive. I'm not saying it's amazing, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. I have a lot of friends who love this film, as well as a handful who hated it, and I'm going to alienate all of them here by coming out and saying that Drive's appeal lies in the fact that it's campy as hell.

I didn't know much about the movie before seeing it Tuesday. I had heard it described as "action", "artsy", and "horror" by three different sources, and surprisingly all three were correct. Drive wants to be every genre possible simultaneously, with the result being something bizarrely entertaining.

The film is getting so many good reviews that it'll probably take at least another decade for people to figure out what the real deal is, but once they do, Drive is destined for midnight showings and ironic audience members.

I can see them wearing shiny scorpion jackets.
I can see them chanting "Drive! Drive! Drive!" every time Ryan Gosling is silently driving his car.
I can see them cracking up at the handful of "jokes" that are so unfunny they might actually become funny.
I can see them whistling at each prolonged headshot of Gosling, Christina Hendricks, and Carey Mulligan meant to remind us how beautiful they are.
I can see them cheering each time over-the-top bouts of violence abruptly change the tone of an otherwise slow-paced indie film.
And most of all, I can see them singing along to the cheesiest soundtrack that ever existed, save for maybe Xanadu.

I don't know that you can take the music seriously. The songs are so distractingly dreadful that they take you out of the scenes rather than enhancing them. Gosling's theme song is a strange techno ditty that recurs, referring to him as a "Real human being. And a real hero."

Even with its 80s aesthetic, the cinematography is top notch, so it never gets boring to watch visually. And, though especially curious, the fact that there's no character development, no room for empathy, senseless violence, a muddled plot, and still an honest attempt at artistic integrity makes the film pretty compelling on the whole.

The biggest message I took away from this film is that, boy, Ryan Gosling's character sure loves to drive! And if you're able to appreciate that it never gets much more complicated than that, you'll probably enjoy the film as much as I did.

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