Driven

"Good"

Driven Review


What better way to start an action movie than with... statistics!

From that rousing introduction we are thrown into the world of Driven, the highly anticipated CART-inspired movie that takes us on a whirlwind tour of made-up races.

Stallone's first script since 1993's Cliffhanger (like Driven, also a Renny Harlin production) trades in the boxing gloves and climbing irons for a fireproof balaclava as he climbs behind the wheel of the fastest cars on earth. Once again, he's an aging, faded star, this time an old racer named Joe Tanto(!), called back into service by his former boss, the wheelchair-bound racing team owner Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds). His mission: to block other cars (read: subtly cheat) during the upcoming grand prix races so his young, rising star Jimmy Blye can win, rising to fame and fortune and beaucoup endorsement deals.

But in order to reach that glory, little Jimmy (Remember the Titans' Kip Pardue, who might as well be music's Beck) must face down the über-German Beau Brandenburg (Til Schweiger, who might as well be Rocky IV's Drago). He'll also have to navigate his way through a gaggle of starlets, each with bigger lips than the next: from Stacy Edwards as a reporter to newcomer Estella Warren as "The Girl" to Gina Gershon as Tanto's ex, a ghoulish nightmare in high-gloss lipstick and a denim hat.

Director Harlin has never been one for subtlety, and the telling of Driven comes across as gently as the last lap of the Indy 500. There's hardly any nuance in the ham-fisted exposition ("...ah, that ex-wife of yours..."). Even the race scenes, which ought to speak for themselves, are marred by an overbearing "TV commentator" narration ("We are racing in Germany!!!") that turns the goings on into Racing for Dummies.

The rest of the film wallows in the obvious. When Jimmy takes off through the streets of Chicago in a stolen prototype racecar (the best sequence in the film, by far), of course Tanto is going to chase him in another stolen prototype racecar. We even get an abrupt turn from the Rocky archetype to the Top Gun school of filmmaking, as the driving foes must learn to work together during a crisis! Meanwhile, there are plenty of race-prep montages to dull the senses, overflowing with ogle-worthy Bud Girl cheesecake.

The racing, of course, is what makes Driven even remotely worthwhile, and it's hard not to sit up and start shaking nervously as car after car goes flying into walls, through the air, or safely past the finish line. Even if it does amount to two hours of product placement -- as Motorola faces down Target with Nextel closing in fast! -- it's undeniably one helluva ride.

Sly, you can be my blocker anytime!

Petal to the muddle.



Driven

Facts and Figures

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th April 2001

Box Office USA: $32.4M

Budget: $72M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Morgan Creek Productions, Epsilon Motion Pictures, Franchise Pictures, Trackform Film Productions, Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 95

IMDB: 4.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Kevin Pardue as Jimmy Bly, as Demille Bly, as Beau Brandenburg, as Sophia Simone, as Joe Tanto, as Carl Henry, as Lucretia Clan, as Cathy Heguy, as Memo Moreno, as Crusher, as Nina, as Ingrid, Chip Ganassi as Team Owner, John Della Penna as Team Manager, Dan Duran as Commentator #1

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.