“Drive” drifts into theaters

In the opening scene, you are sent right into the midst of an unnerving heist. You can feel the silence, the tension. And then you hear the sirens in the background.

The Driver, who remains un-named throughout the film, is a Hollywood stunt driver that uses his skills to evade the police as a getaway driver.

After a heist gone terribly wrong, he finds himself entangled with dangerous criminals who have ordered a contract to kill him.

The film has a classic 80’s feel to it, music and opening credits included, which somehow makes it oddly refreshing.

Add the tense driving scenes and it takes you for a ride you can’t forget.

One crucial element to its success is in casting the lead, which is right on par.

Gosling, with his cool and subdued character, perfectly embodies the loner, bringing a sincerity to the role that draws you in and makes you experience his every emotion.

Simply said, there could not have been a better driver for the part.

Bryan Cranston gives an equally entertaining performance, as the Driver’s easygoing, wisecracking boss.

The only miscast role goes to Carey Mulligan, who seems too comatose and quiet to play the part of Irene, the Driver’s love interest.

Originally planned to be a blockbuster, the film ultimately came out as independent.

After being cast, Gosling was allowed to choose a director and picked Danish born Nicholas Winding Refn, which turned out to be a very successful collaboration.

Despite conjuring up thoughts of similar premises in films such as “The Transporter” (2002), “Drive” skips the flashiness and brings realness with a good dose of modesty.

It works because it rebels against that highly stylized formula, and brings a much needed realism and simplicity that many of today’s action films lack.

Although viewed as an action film, those expecting to be inundated with countless car chases might end up feeling misled, as it focuses more on story development rather than thrilling driving scenes, which it is not overly saturated with.

Nevertheless, it is still riveting in its storyline, with the action being more than worth it.

Determined on not becoming another mindlessly action-packed movie, it will keep you guessing.

Nothing can prepare you for the shocks, so expect the unexpected.

“Drive” stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, and Oscar Isaac.

Rated R, it opened on Fri., Sept. 16, 2011, and has received outstanding praise with an opening of $11 million, coming third in the box office.

My Grade: B+