Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Has a more cartoonish feature film hit the big screen since, well, Sylvester Stallone's
last movie? Film critics have smelt burning rubber all over Driven. "A movie by, for
and about the Attention Deficit Disordered," says Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times).
"A music video shot by a Cops camera crew on crystal meth" says Michael
O'Sullivan (Washington Post). "This homoerotic car-racing actioner delivers something
between Speed Racer and gay porn," says Andrew O'Hehir (Salon.com). How could I top
that? Well, let me just say I had a lot of fun watching Driven. Not merely for His
Slyness's ham-fisted mumbling beefcake, but for the clichés which I agree "were
found in the deep discount bin at Cliches'R'Us," according to Todd Anthony (South
Florida Sun-Sentinel). Driven is a shameless testosterone-charged boys'n'beers movie that
simply spins its wheels all over the screen.
In fact, the DVD may well become a collector's item in the "stupid movies"
stakes, for in the deleted scenes Stallone himself reveals his utter belief he was making
a great movie (which he also wrote and produced). Listen to director Renny Harlin's
feature length audio commentary, however, and he'll tell you how Stallone's script was 220
pages long - double the average length. He'll tell you how he scrapped sub-plots and
character development, and changed Sly's champion car racer into a bruised and battered
wash-out who mentors a young hotshot. "It's Rocky on wheels 25 years later," Sly
told director Harlin, who must now wonder why he ever teamed up with his Cliffhanger pal.
It was meant to be the film about car racing Harlin always wanted to make - about the late
Formula 1 champ Ayton Senna - but why their plans changed remains unanswered.
The DVD also contains the standard making-of advertorial and a computer-wizardry
section with the highlight of how one CGI whiz pulled a 36-hour shift to get a scene done.
Terrific. Driven on DVD should sit on your shelf for one thing; the odd reminder of how
surreal Hollywood movies became in 2001.
Published January 10, 2002