|FILM DISTRICT, RICHARD FOREMAN|
Ryan Gosling is shown in a scene from "Drive."
"Drive" is proof action movies need not be a deafening assault on the senses nor a nonstop barrage of explosions and feats that defy the laws of physics. "Drive" is an action movie with a brain, that allows its characters to use theirs, that spends more time focusing on its characters than the action around them.
The Driver (Ryan Gosling) is at the movie's center. He's a taciturn protagonist in the tradition of Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name; one even wonders if his employer ("Breaking Bad's" Bryan Cranston), who owns an auto repair shop, knows his name. He also works as a stunt driver for Hollywood movies and moonlights as a wheelman.
He doesn't carry a gun or go inside to take an active role in his clients' heists. He drives. He gives his clients a five-minute window to get the job done while he waits in the car, his watching ticking away.