Directed by Renny Harlin.
Written by Sylvester Stallone.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds and Kip Pardue.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 4/23/01
Sometimes, even free sucks.
Tricia "Hot" Ocampo once again scored some
freebies, and this time it was for the new Sly Stallone F1 film
"Driven." My brother Dave and I both thought that the trailer for
this movie looked pretty good, so we--along with my two roommates
Keith and the Chuckwagon--rolled over to the Pentagon City 6 to
check it out.
And, even though we had free passes to this
thing, we all had to admit afterwards that this movie was a piece of
It's a weird thing, seeing a bad movie, you
know? You spend a good portion of your two hours laughing
hysterically at the bad acting, the ridiculous plot twists, and the
convoluted storyline. You yell out actions that characters will
take three, four, even five seconds before the characters actually
do them, because you have seen a couple of movies before and the
foreshadowing is so obvious that any adult over the age of 21 can
see them coming. You shake your head in disgust as talented actors
say lines so silly you can almost see them breaking part to laugh at
themselves for appearing in a movie so poor.
"Driven" does all of these things, and
more. Stallone--who wrote the screenplay for this film and should
go ahead and consider retirement at the age of 54--stars as has-been
driver Joe Tanto, who must play mentor for a driver named Jimmy Bly
(Kip Pardue, the quarterback from
"Remember the Titans") for the
second half of the F1 season to help Bly win the World
Championship. Managed by a wheelchair-bound veteran boss (Burt
Reynolds, desperately seeking cash), Tanto somehow must overcome his
tainted past to teach Bly the skills needed to win on the tough F1
Or something. Here's what I do remember
happening during this film that was good:
A) The soundtrack. Composed by electronica
guru BT, the soundtrack is bad-ass. Much like the soundtrack for
"Any Given Sunday", the tracks that BT puts together here always
seem to match the situation perfectly, and he throws almost every
genre of music into the film to mostly grand effect. And, as I
always say, any soundtrack that has The Crystal Method on it is
golden, and "Driven" has at least that going for it.
B) Hilarious, gratuitous shots of women
wearing close to nothing eating hilariously gratuitous phallic
objects. Director Renny Harlin ("The Adventures of Ford Fairlane"--the
Andrew Dice Clay star vehicle--"The Long Kiss Goodnight", "Die Hard
2: Die Harder", "Deep Blue Sea") is quite possibly the king of
shameless T&A shots and bloody, overdone violence, and he does not
disappoint here as he slips in more oral imagery for this PG-13 film
than any other PG-13er in history. Both sexes seemed to get a kick
out of these shots during our preview screening tonight, because
they were so blatantly obvious. Yes, this is wrong, but man, does
it make for funny audience reactions.
Other than that, this movie blows. It seems
to have no idea what to do in-between its admittedly-cool race
footage, and that made for a LOT of groaning about the acting from
folks in the crowd. Stallone's Tanto falls for a reporter than is,
by far, the ugliest woman in the film, and this seems to make no
sense given that his ex-wife is played by super sexpot Gina Gershon.
(Gershon's opening shot--also used in the film's trailer--seemed to
have men in my audience leaning in the aisles to check out that
figure. Gershon is sadly underappreciated. And speaking of hot,
gents, have you seen Halle Berry getting down in that
There are only two drivers of note in the
film besides Tanto, which is strange given that they are always
racing about 30 other drivers, only two or three of which are given
names. Holes in the plot abound: How does Bly have a shot at the
World Championship if he has only finished about 8 of the 20 races
for the season? Bly's rival dumps his wife at the beginning of the
film...so the estranged wife starts sleeping with Bly...then the
wife goes back to the rival...then Bly seems to be really happy that
the wife is back with the rival??? Bullshit. Bly and Tanto's
manager decides near the end of the film that he wants to terminate
Bly's contract; this is strange, given that Bly and his rival Beau
are the only two drivers that have won any of the 20 races all
season. And, on and on.
If you like watching girls in tank tops eat
hot dogs to hardcore house music, see this film when it opens on
Friday. If you don't, stay regular and doowhatchalike--skip this
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard