Is this a review of Drive or Tangled?

Here you go: Two reviews for the price of one. Drive… and Tangled. 

A crook, in the midst of his criminal activities, encounters a damsel in distress with a plucky, cute-as-a-button sidekick.

He endeavors to help her, and begins taking baby-steps toward a fuller life… one in which he’s applying his skills in service of someone else, in the name of love.

His heroics are heavily dependent on his “vehicles”… and thus his “transportation” kind of steals the show.

The hero has a few practiced facial expressions on which he depends as much as Derek Zoolander to impress people around him.

The irresistible soundtrack almost becomes the film’s reason for being.

The action, when it happens, is crazy.

And the primary bad guy and the two other sub-villains are surprisingly engaging considering how formulaic everything is.

At times, the film is stunningly beautiful to look at. Oh, and the heroine looks really, really adorable with short hair.

The “moral of the story”? Well, I suppose you could identify one, but it’s pretty silly. These movies aren’t really about morals anyway… this movie is really about nostalgia for another era of moviemaking, but it fulfills the standards of that formula so fully that it instantly achieves a sort of “classic” status. As a fusion of fairy tales and fantasies, it feels fresh.

You’ll walk away with the preachy but peppy theme song in your head, even though the story was, in essence, just an excuse for style and a winking self-awareness.

P.S. If this is a review of Drive, I should add… don’t take the kids. Trust me on that one.

P.P.S. I’m writing a fuller review of Drive. It’ll be up at Filmwell soon.


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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.