Drive (1997)

Posted in Reviews by - January 05, 2014
Drive (1997)

A criminally underrated kung fu film. Drive succeeds because of Steve Wang’s blistering execution of Hong Kong style fight choreography, backed by glossy Hollywood production values. Wang’s film successfully covers a broad range of themes, from the charming buddy comedy of mismatched duo Dacascos and Hardison – constantly on the run from the bad guys – to the extended fight scenes, kitted out with a fantastical edge. Its sort of Rush Hour meets The Matrix, although Drive predates both. The story is fun, if slightly ridiculous. Dacascos has a bionic implant which gives him special kung fu powers, and the company who manufactured it want it back. Along with Hardison, the duo travel to Los Angeles to pick up some cash in exchange for digging out the mechanism. When Masaya Kato enters – an advanced model designed to take out Dacascos – the film builds into an extraordinary finale. Kato, equipped with shades and a trench coat, relies on sideline technicians to overload his martial powers as the two super-humans launch at each other with fists and feet flying. As contemporary martial arts cinema goes, Drive is a landmark picture.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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