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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good premise yet pitfalls hinder success
"Welcome to the Human Race" This was the clever metaphor used in descibing the movie, and the movie tried to emphasise the good and the bad of human nature, interestingly enough, through the racing world. I looked forward to the DVD, having missed it in theaters. There were certain things about Driven that were satisfying; however, it fell short of being an...
Published on May 19, 2002 by PJ

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great action; no story
I wanted to walk out of 'DRIVEN' during the first ten minutes. Music and opening sequences were confusing, loud, annoying, and generally numbing. I realize the idea was to show us Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue's character) was close to a nervous breakdown, but I almost had one along with him. I stayed in the theatre, deciding the movie had to get better. It did, but not by...
Published on April 30, 2001


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great action; no story, April 30, 2001
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wanted to walk out of 'DRIVEN' during the first ten minutes. Music and opening sequences were confusing, loud, annoying, and generally numbing. I realize the idea was to show us Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue's character) was close to a nervous breakdown, but I almost had one along with him. I stayed in the theatre, deciding the movie had to get better. It did, but not by much.
What I LIKED was the action race scenes and that I learned some things about CART racing which I had never thought of, or realized. For example, timing a 'recovering from injuries' Jimmy to ensure he could get out of car within five seconds, to even be allowed into a race (CART rules), was interesting to me. The use of computers, laptops, and communications techniques with active drivers was cool. I loved Estella Warren in the pool(when she wasn't talking). I enjoyed the 'Luc' character (she was best at achieving most with an understated 'look'). I liked watching the action at the pit stops.
What I disliked, intensely, was most of the silly dialog. (Question: "Where did you learn to swim like that?" Answer: "I was raised by frogs; Ribbit."). I thought some characters did well with what dialog they had, but some good talent was wasted here. Gina Gershon did a great bitchy job every time she was on screen; the only one who really used the limited dialog to extreme advantage.
My overall opinion were too many characters and confusing stories for the limited time. The only characters I truly cared about were Jimmy, Gina, Luc, and Beau (when he was away from the 'love triangle' story line). DeMille (Jimmy's hard-driving agent/brother) would have been much more effective had he been subtle/savey in his self-absorbed ways instead of obnoxious. Sly and Burt just existed in this movie; in fact, I almost wasn't going to mention them at all.
I had read, but didn't receive confirmation, that the first compilation was a four hour plus film, which Renny Harlin greatly cut. That could explain the first confusing 5-10 minutes. I actually might be interested in the DVD when it arrives it there is a director's cut, even if it is a longer movie, if it makes the story less choppy. I might even put up with some of the silly dialog if that were the case. But adding any time to this movie to get more of the same won't help it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Harlin and Stallone team up again...yippy!!!, September 27, 2001
By 
"seccho" (Newton, KS USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Driven [VHS] (VHS Tape)
When one considers that in the last ten years Harlin and Stallone have either directed/acted in such films as Judge Dredd, Daylight, Assassins, Demolition Man, Get Carter, Cutthroat Island, Cliffhanger(cooperatively), and Deep Blue Sea, it's almost surprising this movie isn't worse than it is. It's bad, for sure, and if all goes well I will never see it again in my life, but I've seen worse.
But the very fact that I've seen worse did nothing to negate the way I felt after watching this film. And on that note I will attempt to review the film. Instead of creating an organized, developed review, I will simply cover some points I thought about as I watched the movie.
Although I know little about racing, I do know that you don't have to win every race of the season to be considered an excellent driver. In the film it seems that every time the rookie Bly fails to finish first in a race it's like he's really blown it for himself. And I do realize that Reynold's character is obsessed with winning, but seriously, even a second place season finish for a rookie in a major racing league would be a significant accomplishment. And like I've said already, I don't know much about racing, but I do know that Formula 1 cars have steering wheel mounted gear shifters. How Formula 1 differs or is related to CART I do not know, but I would be interested to find out. After all, I would think that a stick shift would provide more of a dramatic effect(probably has something to do with the fallic undertones).
Another thing about the movie that annoyed me was how predictable it was. I knew from the moment that Sylvestor's character met the reporter "Luke" that they would get something going between them...the very instant. Also, you know that one of the main characters is going to be injured or killed, and through the process of elimination it's not long before one realizes who it's going to be. Also, even though the racing season is 20 races long, you know that it's all going to come down to the last race, and in all probability, the very last moments of the last race. The movie doesn't fail in following these classic cleches.
There were also other problems I had with the movie. The night driving in the race cars through the city streets of "Chicago" was a joke, right? Aside from everything else that was wrong with that segment the one thing I kept thinking about was, "how can they see to drive with no helmets on". I mean, their eyes are going to dry out. The design of the car is probably going to deflect a certain amount of air away from the cockpit, but at near 200mph speeds, you're probably still going to need some sort of visor protecting your eyes. Also, I had to chuckle at the mid-race rescue of Memo. Talk about some seriously contrived bologna. Not to mention the pragmatic ridiculousness of it all. And as far as the between race drama goes, you could eliminate all of it and still not lose any emotional affect from the film. As for the races themselves...Harlin relies on choppy editing and pumped up music to convey excitement. The computer effects aren't terrible, but there are many instances when you are very, very aware that it's cgi your seeing.
Ultimately, this film substitutes cleches for character development and plot, has dialogue that is only adequate at its best moments, and rarely fulfills in its capacity as an action film. One thing I will give this film, though, is that it made me laugh out loud pretty hard once...when Stallone's character Tanto makes a flying leap to take first positon. I would like to say one final thing, in regards to Stallone. I am simply amazed at how much mileage he's gotten out of his Rocky and Rambo franchises.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Worst Movie Ever?, November 21, 2001
By 
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This review is from: Driven (DVD)
As a fan of auto racing, particularly CART and F1, I had been cautiously anticipating the release of this movie on DVD for some time. However, it turns out thatthis movie was more unrealistic than my worst fears had considered. For example, in one seen, the movies two protagonists start their race cars, and go racing around on city streats at top speed. I suppose that Stallone forgot that Indy Cars do not have their own starters, they must be started with an external starter. Nothing about the racing and wrecking is realistic, despite the fact that Sylvester Stallone was seen at several races in the year prior to this movies release.
When you combine the unrealistic nature of the movie, with the complete lack of plot, and the poor acting, this movie doesn't even deserve a full star.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Release the Director's Cut, October 2, 2001
This review is from: Driven (DVD)
With Sylvester Stallone and Renny Harlin behind the wheel, you would expect "Driven" to be more entertaining than it actually is. The deleted scenes on the DVD give you a taste of what might have been. A "director's cut" is definitely in order.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh for godsake., September 4, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Driven (DVD)
In lieu of Rocky 6 (or wherever he last left off), Sylvester Stallone takes his "tried and true" screenwriting formula and applies it to CART racing. Nothing is gained in the translation. Same old thing: young precocious talent must fight lack of confidence in order to be a champion. Our hero is played by Kip Pardue, an actor with all the burning charisma of a CK-1 model. So I guess the girls will like this. Maybe. Myself, I enjoyed the eye-candy provided by Estella Warren, Stacy Edwards, and Gina Gershon. The list of what I DIDN'T enjoy is too volumnious to itemize here; let's just mention the [bad]dialogue, terrible rock soundtrack, and whizzing, mostly computer-animated photography and leave it at that. Thousands of starving filmmakers can't get their stuff shown even at Sundance, while *Driven* plays in multiplexes nationwide. Sweet dreams, kids. By the way: a movie about professional racing that doesn't spend any serious time in the pit is, well, not really a movie about racing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Two words...Gigantic [Flop], March 7, 2003
This review is from: Driven (DVD)
When I saw that this movie was being first made I had a small glimmer of hope. A movie about F1. Then F1 said no way and the movie moved on to CART. My hopes quickly diminished from there.
A friend said that this was a good movie. I knew he smoked a lot of pot, but I didn't know he smoked that much.
It starts with ridiculous racing footage. There are absolutely no laws of physics that apply to these cars. Suddenly whenever a car wants to catch up with the one in front he magically gets about a 300 shot of nitrous for more horsepower to instantly catch up and then cannot pull away.
Cars are constantly crashing and bursting into flames. Bright yellow flames, which cannot happen at any professional level because methanol burns blue.
There are absolutely no safety personnel at any of the tracks, so the drivers have to stop from 200 mph in about 50 feet to save the other driver in danger, nevermind that they would be lucky to stop within 500 feet in real life.
That doesn't even mention the awful acting. The acting in a typical Godzilla movie is far better.
For the sake of your sanity, please stay away.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a Joke!!, June 26, 2002
By 
Racing Fan (Philadelpbhia, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Driven (DVD)
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. An incredibly STUPID story, so implausable that it is insulting to the viewer. The race scenes are simply ridiculous. Memo's big crash seen is the most hoaky thing I have ever seen, Bly makes a 180 comes back jumps out of the car and into the pond to save, PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSEEEEEEE!!!! HOW STUPID!!! Too bad the producers and writers of this movie have never seen a CART, IRL or Formula 1 race before. This movie is so insulting to race fans because it is so STUPID!!
If I could give this movie zero stars I would it is so bad.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad on so many levels that it defies counting, August 4, 2002
By 
El Grande (Fort Wayne, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Driven (DVD)
If you have ever enjoyed racing, specifically CART/IRL/F1 racing, this film will actually make you laugh out loud and shake your head in wonderment. There are enough holes in this film that it begins to resemble Swiss cheese.
Where to start? The characters are all familiar, as you've seen them in just about every racing movie (not to mention any other kind of sporting movie)... I'm guessing Sly was cribbing from the Cliff Notes version of "Days of Thunder".
As for the problems with the "racing footage", let's just touch on a few things that will make you want to tear your hair out.
-In one of the opening racing scenes, the "rookie" is trying to pass for the lead, and right before he touches tires with another car, the crew chief's laptop screen (in the pits) starts flashing "WARNING"... Leading the crew chief to exclaim "NOT AGAIN!". I, for one, was unaware that racing car telemetry warned the pit crew that the driver is about to collide with another car. :)
-In just about EVERY racing scene, you will find a driver "about to pass" another car, and then a shot in the footbox of the car showing the driver suddenly flooring the throttle... Like the driver was twaddling around in second place running at part-throttle on a high-speed straightaway. SURE.
-Amazingly, only two drivers are winning any races... The aging current champion and the rookie. Nobody else seems capable of winning, a totally preposterous idea if you know anything about CART.
-If you are enough of a fan to tell the difference between various open-wheel racing cars will be endlessly irritated by the switching between real CART cars and the "stand-in" cars for the action sequences, which were Indy Lights cars and other mockups, if I am not too much mistaken.
-Absurd action sequences involve the oft-mentioned 180-deg turn to go back and save a driver submerged in a pond, the racing through the streets scene (seen this in Days of Thunder, perhaps?), cars racing UNDERNEATH other airborne cars in crash scenes, etc. Maddening.
-Astonishingly overdone and comically exaggerated crash sequences obviously meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator of audiences.
Other problems with the film:
-Trite dialogue that should insult anyone with anything more than a room-temperature IQ. "Brotherhood of Speed"? OMG, does it get any worse than THIS?
-The "One driver steals another driver's woman" plotline that goes back to 1966's "Grand Prix" at least, and has obviously been done to death in other sports films... Not to mention the bitchy ex-wife, though Gina Gershon is aptly cast in this role.
-Film editing that will make even a frequent viewer of MTV dizzy. Enough unnecessary cuts to make a music video producer proud.
-The dimwitted relationship between "the rookie" and the howlingly overdone part of his agent/manager, which of course in THIS film would be his older brother, as well. Not only his brother, but the brother that "the rookie" beat into submission when they were both amateur racing drivers. This plot detail alone made me want to drink a gallon of Drano.
*sigh*
I could go on, but we're only allowed a thousand words here.
The only thing that recommends this film is the presence of some good racing footage, but all the good racing footage is REAL footage of the racing, not the manufactured scenes for the purposes of "plot" development. Problem is... The good racing footage can be seen for free 20 weekends a year on ESPN. Don't bother paying for this movie... Though if it's on a movie channel you already happen to be paying for, it is worth watching if only because it will give you a good laugh.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars drivel, November 22, 2001
By 
T. Ryan (boston, ma. United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Driven (DVD)
absolutly foolish...anyone who loves racing will hate this movie... brought to you by the same man who had you believing all you needed to win a boxing championship was a good roundhouse...now has you believing all you have to do to win a race is step on the gas...why didn't the other drivers think of that?? If you buy this you deserve it..
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Terrible, June 20, 2002
By 
This review is from: Driven (DVD)
The main problem with this in not the story. Its the filming. Everything is a close-up and the camera angle is constantly changing. Where Good Fellas and Casino are famous for the Longest continuous camera shots, this one should be equally famous for the shortest.
The camera shifts without reason every fraction of a second. Everything is a closeup. When a group of people are talking together. Split seconds of facial closeups are mixed with facial closeups of the other characters talking.
Actually its worse than that, you get close-ups of eyes, then someones nose, then back to Stallone talking, Stallone at a different angle, at yet another angel, a close-up of finger tapping.
Its like they had 1000 cameras for every scene and used portions of each one for every minute of screentime.
If you can get past how absurdly it is shot, you have absurd situations like a racer getting upset taking off in one of these cars on public city streets and being pursued by another racer. Also in a race, there is a crash, and the other racer does a 180 degree turn and goes to rescue him.
I could never get past all this to get deep enough into the relationships between the characters so I can't comment about that.
This movie is terrible.
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Driven
Driven by Renny Harlin
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