Driven

Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue, Estella Warrren
Director: Renny Harlin

Do you like motor racing? The answer to this question really determines whether or not you will enjoy DRIVEN.

Stallone plays a racing driver making his comeback to the circuits. He’s an old hand compared to his team mate Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue) who is a rising young star managed by an overbearing brother. Jimmy’s major challenger to the world championship is Beau Brandenburg (Til Schweiger) who has just broken up a long term relationship with Sophia (Estella Warren). Sophia hooks up with Jimmy which adds a love challenge element to the story. Finally Burt Reynolds plays a wheelchair bound team manager who is about as hard as a brick wall when it comes to making decisions about his drivers.

Oh, does this all sound like a soap opera so far? Well in a way it is but really it’s a film about motor racing with loads of exciting driving going on and loads of exciting driving going on, and each race is linked together by the behind the scenes relationships between the drivers.

There’s lots of shots of car crashes, amazing camera angles, there’s a great scene of a car chase on the streets of a busy city using Formula One cars driving at 195 mph, and there’s a scene of Estella Warren doing synchronized swimming which is an “in” joke as she is a real life Olympic standard swimmer, turned model, turned actress.

All this has great relevance to the story except the swimming scene which has no relevance at all, but who cares because Estella is absolutely stunning looking and that is the only reason for this scene to be included. More eye candy are shots of the sexy girls who attend the races promoting the various teams in fast edited sequences before each race to try to give the real atmoshere of attending a race. We get these sequences before every race!

So we have a film about motor racing with exciting driving and great camera work. Plus a simple storyline – who will win the championship, who will win the girl. And…well that’s it really,a film you don’t have to think about at all except to work out who’s driving which car in the racing scenes.

I like motor racing and I really like Estella Warren even more, so I enjoyed the film but if you don’t like either of these you won’t. Burt Reynolds gives an excellent performance, as does Estella in the pool, but that’s it. For the motor racing Estella Warren fans only. The rest of you stay away?

3 out of 6 stars

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