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Drive (2019)

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Drive (2019) Movie Poster Image
Trite action movie has mild language, product placement.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 119 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Getting rich through stealing is the primary motivation of nearly every character. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters two-dimensional, if that. 

Violence

High-speed car chases throughout, somehow no crashes or injuries. Humor attempted through one of the main characters slapping a smaller character around and basically bullying him to do his bidding. 

Sex

Mild innuendo -- attractive woman seduces a bureaucrat by feeding chocolates into his mouth, and at one point, he says, "I like big ones," to which she giggles. Music videos and montages of scantily-clad women with close-ups of body parts.

Language

Occasional profanity: "Bulls--t," "crap," "damn," "ass," "hell." Music video for a song called "Karma Is A Bitch." 

Consumerism

The logo of a Mumbai sports car dealership is prominently featured throughout the movie -- on cars, on banners, in the opening credits. Also, at an airport, Qantas Airlines, American Airlines, and India One prominently shown. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Woman holds cigarette, keeps getting interrupted while on the verge of lighting it. Character asks another character, "Are you high?" 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Drive is a 2019 Indian action film in which authorities, thieves, and street racing enthusiasts are searching for a legendary thief known as "King." Expect frequent high-speed car chases and street races; there are no accidents and no one gets hurt. A frequent attempt at humor concerns a bigger man bullying a smaller man to do his bidding by slapping him around. Occasional profanity, including "bulls--t" and a music video for the opening song of the movie, "Karma is A Bitch." Obnoxious product placement, particularly of a Mumbai sports car dealership that, based on how often their logo appears throughout the movie, appears to have bankrolled the project. Mild innuendo -- attractive woman seduces a bureaucrat by feeding chocolates into his mouth, and at one point, he says, "I like big ones," to which she giggles. Music videos and montages of scantily-clad women with close-ups of body parts. References to smoking. Overall, this is a boring and nonsensical rip-off of The Fast and The Furious and basically every action movie involving a heist of some sort. 

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What's the story?

In DRIVE, Vibha, a corrupt bureaucrat, has gotten word that a thief known only as "King" has just robbed a jewelry store and plans to rob the official residence of the President of India. The bureaucrat has been hiding stolen monies in the basement of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and so she enlists the help of her assistant Hamid, who enlists the help of a hacker, in order to discover the identity of "King" and to stop him in his tracks. Meanwhile, an illegal street racing gang led by Tara, Bikki, and Naina are also in search of "King." Vibha sends in a Formula One Driver to infiltrate the gang, but when the debonair and mysterious racer Samar arrives on the scene and earns their trust and respect, Tara and the gang begin to suspect that Samar might be "King." After retrieving gold hidden in an abandoned police outpost, the gang forge a bond after a lost weekend in Tel Aviv. After this, still suspecting that Samar is "King," the gang, with Samar's active assistance, plan to infiltrate the Rashtrapati Bhavan, planning the heist of billions to be converted into diamonds and, if it all works out, deposited in the Bank of London. 

Is it any good?

This movie trite as trite gets. It's fitting that the title of this movie is Drive, as there are already, according to IMDb, at least 80 movies, shorts, and television programs with the same name. The 2019 Drive resorts to bad CGI to try and copy the high-speed sportscar street races and chases of The Fast and Furious franchiseand all the stylistic razzmatazz of any heist movie of the last 20 years. It's an overlong and confusing mess of a movie, chock full of cliched characters, most of whom seem only motivated to win illegal streetcar races, steal gold, and overuse their selfie sticks during lost weekend montages. 

Indeed, none of the characters are remotely likable or interesting enough to care if they succeed on their caper or not. The chemistry between the leads falls as flat as the plot twists. By the time we learn who the real "King" is, there's more relief that the movie is over than any satisfaction over "the big reveal." Furthermore, the obnoxious product placement of a Mumbai sports car concern throughout the movie is rivaled only by what McDonald's went for in the '80s anti-classic, Mac and Me. Drive is definitely on the "waste of time" part of the spectrum of Netflix's "kitchen sink" international movie production. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about action movies. What's the appeal? 

  • What are some of the ways in which Drive copies other more successful action movies? 

  • This movie features constant product placement. What are your thoughts on product placement in movies? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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