“…a five-minute window…anything happens a minute either side of that, and you’re on your own, I don’t carry a gun…I drive.”-Drive
Other than that, as far as getaway driver Ryan Gosling is concerned, his rules of the road end there except for his pathological addiction to being close to cars and his penchant for sucking on toothpicks. That is, until he meets up with his next door neighbor, Michelle Williams – I mean Carey Mulligan – in this existential neon neo-noir directed by Nicola Winding Refn. But before Mulligan enters the picture and revs up Gosling’s soft side with his silent goofy aloof expressions, the movie begins with an adrenaline shot of a night time car chase evading Johnny Law with chopters throughout the “hundred thousand streets” in downtown LA. After this I was eagerly awaiting some more high octane fun but instead veered into a seriouso character study of how a lonely man in a satin scorpio patch jacket can have such a tender heart but ultimately reveals his ultra violent nature of a scorpion. Though obviously steeped in and influenced by numerous past flicks at least Drive revitalizes the noir crime genre and what sets it apart is Refn’s assured direction and the (at times a bit overbearing) retro eighties like soundtrack. Too bad it didn’t drown out the fucking dialogue between those two kikes, Albert Brook and Hellboy. Albert is completely miscast as a razor wielding gangster and should resurrect his writing and directing career or else his legacy will be the voice of Finding Nemo.
While Mulligan and Gosling are busy making puppy faces at each other, her ex-con husband cuts in with one of the best scenes cock blocking him. The other notable one is the motel money murder madness scene where Gosling’s pointed gloved finger bitch slapping interrogation goes awry. Too bad he can’t use those tactics in the real world.
SPOILERS. You would think that Drive would climax in a dazzling car chase as it began but instead we get a tiny fucking elevator with a slowmo make out scene and a stomping session. In keeping with the existential motif and ambiguous ending, Gosling drives off into the night. Hopefully his first stop is the dry cleaners.
Even with bans against slobs eating on public transportation, spitting fines, and employees must wash hands signs, we’ve seen plenty of deadly epidemics in our world’s history – everything from the Bubonic Plague to Taco Bell’s E. coli and Bieber Fever. I’m nagged daily on my germaphobia, if not with a lecture on weakening my immunity, then with a look like I’m a freak for protecting a hand with my sleeve around door knobs or train poles. So to all my touchy-feely friends, sorry if my hugs seem like I’m wearing a surgical mask but after seeing Contagion you might finally get it. I’m sure it won’t be long until we see “pass the Purell” in the American lexicon as Sodergbergh rounds up more A-list actors than Robert Altman, utilizing intercutting stories and subplots in this global pandemic flick (making Nashville look like a family picnic!).
Before Kate Winslet has a chance to get naked she plays doctor specializing in epidemic cures and we are on edge (trying to ignore the mouth breather sitting next to us and biochem Demitri Martin) with our infected cast, and dead Gwen lying on a autopsy table with her head sliced open and forehead peeled back, and Matt Damon, demanding to know “What happened to her!!?”….”What happened to her!!!?” He and the rest of the world sure manage to keep their heads on straight, not dropping one cuss word when I would be losing my fucking shit!! Meanwhile, back at the laboratory, biologists, the CIA, Homeland Security, and Elliot Gould all work to find a vaccine – spearheaded by Dr. Fishburne as Jude Law shows the power of a video blog vs. the printed media, accusing the Government for lying to the public and insinuating a massive conspiracy perpetuated by the pharmaceutical companies. Perhaps I too should wear a snaggle tooth to get some more subscribers? But as lab-coats get lost in a game of ring around the rosy with accusations against Fishburne for secretly advising his chick over the general public to leave the cootie zone, the story forgets all it’s compelling premises and angles; Damon’s immunization, biological warfare, nefarious plots of genocide, and literally turns to some batshit crazy excuse.
Sucks Bryan Cranston didn’t have his Breaking Bad chemistry set. Thankfully Soderbergh’s eye paired with Stephen Mirrione editing move us through these pending plots with a spooky pulsating electronic score to keep us on pace and at least raise the question and possible scenarios in this day and age how the panic of the people will play out. But unfortunately Contagion’s characters are unfulfilled even with a vaccine shot up there nose. But what really left me hanging was the Doctor’s reaction to whatever the fuck was inside Gwen’s head?…Bedbugs?