“Drive”: An Illustrated Response

by Lisa Hanawalt

I like Ryan Gosling. I liked him in The Notebook, Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl, and Google Image Search. And driving around LA at night while listening to pop music is my favorite thing on Earth, so seeing Drive was a no-brainer.


• The opening of the movie is so cool, with the Kavinsky music and the retro font and everything. I’ll be happy if this is all that happens for the rest of the movie.

• Ryan Gosling’s character reminds me a little of Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, maybe because they’re both nameless. But there’s also a touch of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man; He doesn’t have much personality, he does specific things with expert skill, and he always has this goofy, savant-like, “I dunno why I’m doing this!” expression, whether he’s fixing cars or stomping skulls.

• But maybe I’m just thinking about Rain Man because they both like toothpicks.

• We keep having to second guess what Driver actually does. He’s a getaway driver. Now he’s a cop! Wait, now he’s a stuntman … and a mechanic! Now he’s a U.S. Marshall and a bounty hunter! Now he’s a beauuuuuuuutiful lady!

• I can tell this theme song, “A Real Hero,” is going to be stuck in my head forever. It’s really good and catchy, but the lyrics are sung by a girl with weird standards when it comes to what makes dudes worth singing about. “You have proved to be a real human being!!! And a real hero…and a REAL HUMAN BEING!!!” Maybe she’s dated a lot of robots?

• The costume department did a good job of making “the Driver” look really, really cool.

• But I think they could have gone a little further and given him a couple more accoutrement (“accooltrement?”):

• Brian Cranston is as craggy as Albert Brooks is puffy. This is like watching an english muffin talk to a marshmallow.

• “Cranston & Brooks” sounds like a brand of marmalade I would spread on an english muffin. They should do a marketing campaign for Thomas english muffins and talk about their “Brooks and Crannies.”

• There are surprisingly few exciting driving scenes in this movie, but I’ll try not to be a baby about it because I can always watch something dumber and with a higher VRRRROOOM! factor later. 2 Fast 2 Furious? Or Crank 2? Oops, gotta pay attention now, the main characters are falling in love.

• Carey Mulligan is adorable and a fine actress, but her character is basically “pretty bug waiting around to get squished.”

• Aw man, Christina Hendricks is only in this movie for like two seconds! “How you gonna fit all them titties into two seconds?” is what the weird asshole part of my brain just thought.

• Shit is getting incredibly violent now. I just heard a “whoosh!” as the entire audience reached up to cover their eyes, and then a collective gasp and wave of laughter as everybody tried to recover from whatever the fuck we just saw.

• Albert Brooks just killed Cranston by slicing his wrist open, but at least he was really nice about it?

• I had to go get some blood tests done a couple of hours before the movie, and unlike Brian Cranston I was a total spineless wiener about it.

• Al Brooks just whipped out a collection of the prettiest knives I’ve ever seen. We’ve already watched him stab a bunch of people, but now we know for sure that knifing is his thing.

• Now the audience is roaring with laughter because Driver is continuing to wear his scorpion jacket, even though it’s soaked with blood.

• Being nameless is the coolest. From now on, all of you can just call me “the Drawer.”

• It’s hard to make fun of this movie, because everything seems really deliberate and smart. Gosling and the director, Nicholas Winding Refn, seem totally in control of how each choice they made will be perceived.

• Fun Fact: Nicholas Winding Refn can’t drive; he failed his driver’s test EIGHT times and never got a license. So, he made a movie about the thing he’s the absolute worst at.

• My boyfriend just said, “My ultimate movie would be a remake of Drive, starring Andy Serkis as a stoic, unnamed getaway chimp.” I usually say no when he asks me to draw stuff, but, for obvious reasons:

• In conclusion: This movie references a million other movies and it’s super stylized, like a less-campy Tarantino flick. It’s also a ton of fun. I give it 5-out-of-5 Goslings!

Previously: Fashion Week Animals in Hats.

Lisa Hanawalt lives in Brooklyn and does illustrations + funnies for publications like the New York Times, McSweeney’s, Vice, and Chronicle Books. She’s best known for her comic book series I Want You.