Far Beyond Driven

UPDATE: “Winter Is Coming” shirts are now IN THE STORE!!! [based on this comic]

On our rare kidless night off, I took my wife to see Drive. I was completely ready to write it off as as substituted-Statham drive/murder/fuck movie [hell, one of those words IS the title of the film], but the reviews I was seeing were surprisingly positive. Given the lack of other options in the cinema we gave took Drive for a test [PUN REDACTED]. I was quite surprised. A) Because they movie we saw and the movie that had been advertised had essentially NOTHING to do with each other. They seriously took the entire trailer from the first 15 minutes of the film which contains the only “anonymous crime driver for hire” sequence in the entire movie. And B) It was actually quite good.

Drive is a very slow, very thoughtful art house film. Not at all the ACTION-SPEED-MURDER-SEXcapade I had been lead to believe. Ryan Gosling has maybe six lines in the entire thing. I imagine 110 pages of his script just said “Ok, now look at her slyly, kinda bashfully, but also a little intimidating like you got something to hide.” The other 10 pages said “STAB THAT GUY IN THE NECK AND GET BATHED IN A FOUNTAIN OF HIS ARTERIAL BLOOD!!!” You see, that’s the other thing about Drive that made it… unique? You come in expecting bullets and blood in every scene, but instead you get a beautifully shot love story, sparse dialog, all at a relaxed pace. This serves to lull you into a false sense of calm, then SKLEEEESH! It’s knife time.

The violence in Drive is so unexpected, so infrequent and so brutal that you remember each and every act for a lot longer than you want to. The killings stick with you and keep you uncomfortable for at least as long as it takes to get to the next one. Only 5 or 6 people die in this movie and all of them do so in a spectacularly unsettling fashion. One death in particular still skeeves me out.

All of that said, I highly recommend it. Just know what you’re getting into.

STORE NEWS: The “Winter Is Coming” shirt should be in the store tonight or tomorrow. I’m excited.

ANOTHER THING: After a power surge last week, my file server (the one that holds all of my HE-related files) died (despite being plugged into a heavy duty surge supressor). The drives were OK but I have to buy a new enclosure ($150) to access them over my network. The same day I found out a miscalibration of our sprinkler system made our water bill for this month $200 more than we were expecting. So $350 I don’t really have just flew out the window. If you were considering donating to support HijiNKS ENSUE, doing so now would be SUPER APPRECIATED.  Donors get access to all of the desktops, audio and other goodies in The Vault. Just make a donation of any amount, or sign up for a recurring donation subscription and you’ll get access.


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  1. I also enjoyed it but thought it was waaaaay too slow. I mean I understood why they made it slow and there were even some slow parts I did like, but it was just too slow.

  2. I liked the slow pace. The pace, music, and title cards gave it an 80's action movie kinda vibe. The contrast of the slowness with the ultraviolence worked for me but I think what ultimately made it work was how great Ryan Gosling's acting was.

      • Amen. Horrific…and the look on Carey Mulligan's face (I forget her character's name) says it all. Talk about the end of the romance. Love this movie though, for taking the time to shock us properly. The action doesn't even really start till 39 minutes in; well done to everyone. Gah, the blood!

  3. It was instantly my favourite film ever for one reason. It's the first time during a movie I've ever been sad that it will be over at some point and I won't be watching it any more. That and the beautiful cinematography, amazing soundtrack, perfect pace, brutal murder and great casting. Day-one blu-ray purchase for me. To watch every day forever.

  4. I could probably con my wife into seeing that. She's into some Gosling. I've actually caught some decent flicks out of her Gosling obsession. Check out 'The Believer', one of his older films. Sure, it's got themes of Nazi-ism and such, but not bad.

  5. I *fucking* hated the font for the titles. Who uses "Rage"? Greasy spoon's menus in the middle of butt fuck Wisconsin, trying to be all fancy and shit. "Oh loook! I'm all scripty and scrolly and la dee dah ooo oo!" Fuck off! Hate it! No! Bad font. I'd rather watch Avatar in comic sans! NO! BAD!

    Breathe. It will be ok.

  6. See, that's the problem with marketing. I might have seen it had I known any of this, but the commercials made it seem like a 90's anti-hero Leifield-esque comic. Just a typical adolescent fast-kill-sex fantasy. I wonder if that was effective?

  7. Love, love LOOOOOOVE the hover text on this one. LOVE the Monkees reference.
    There aren't enough of those these days.

  8. What's the tune that goes with the words in the move-the-cursor-over-the-comic text? It could be catchy. Also, I'm not getting sold by the slow pacing and lack of fast-driving-and-killing the trailers promise.

    • "Last Train to Clarksville" by The Monkees. The meter does sort of fall apart in the last line, though. </dry humour>

  9. I saw two very different commercials for this movie… the first one (which I saw 90% of the time) was the Fast and the Furious-eque action movie. The other 10% was the 2nd panel you drew… artsy and romantic.

  10. I honestly didn't like this movie at all, simply because the previews were so damned misleading! And I do like boobs, but not just randomly thrown in the middle of a threatening hammer-hand-bashing (which was awesome). Also the driving (which the movie was apparently about) honestly just seemed really slow for how supposedly suped-up the cars were supposed to be. (And what the hell was the purpose of the mask!?! They could have cut that out completely, as well as the stunt scene where they showed why he even had the mask.)

  11. Joel! Thank you for this comic, it's the reason i decided to check out the movie. It was a damn good film, well shot as well. And of course the blood…oh god yes the blood

  12. I was terribly disillusioned. I was expecting the movie from the trailers, not good, but at least a lot fun, you know? I don't even mind slow paced indie film type stuff, but not when I'm in the mood for mindless car stunts. I haven't been this disappointed in a movie since I watched Dumb and Dumber immediately after Mallrats.

    And man was the dialog slow – to me this movie felt like "Okay, here's the script, we've shot all the car scenes and death scenes, added in the dialog… that got us to 30 minutes. Hmm… we could write some new dialog? Put in a couple of subplots, like other jobs, or what he wants the money for? That sounds expensive, let's reshoot the dialog, but instead of reading your lines like a normal human being, pause for 15 seconds before you say anything.

    It would have made more sense if they hadn't shortened the title. I think was originally supposed to be "Drive away from the theater, buy some tacos, and wait for this to show up on IFC"

  13. I love the Monkees… 🙂

    Did you hear about the idiot woman from Michigan who's suing the film's promoter because the movie was nothing like the trailers?? I think the litigiousness of Americans has gotten waaaaaay out of hand…

    But seriously, why would you market this movie to fans of Fast and Furious? They are nothing alike and you're just going to piss them off, while scaring away people like me who LOVED this movie, but wouldn't touch a Jason Statham movie with a 10 foot pole.

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