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Sylvester Stallone stars in and Renny Harlin directs this cutting-edge, action-packed drama of a former champion race car driver who agrees to coach a young hotshot racer who is having trouble coping with the intense pressure of a winning season.]]>
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with the screenplay written by sylvester stallone & Directed by Renny Harlin
the film turns out to be entertaining at best, the screenplay is Good but not excellent
i can say that the Car racing scenes are Directed brilliantly, Great work from Renny Harlin for sure
so Good screenplay but the Directing is better, brilliant infact
Burt reynolds Gives a Great performance aswell
well Warner bros has finally released this film on blu-ray with a new HD transfer
which does look very sharp & clear picture quality in 2:40:1 widescreen plus a new 5.1 master audio mix
so the picture & sound quality is much much better than the old dvd version for sure
about the special features
there are no new extras that's for sure, i would've been surprised if WB got a new interview with Sly or Renny Harlin about this film
all the same extras from the very old dvd release have been carried over that's all
which are Behind the scenes featurettes-
MAKING OF DRIVEN, CONQUERING SPEED THROUGH LIVE ACTION & VISUAL EFFECTS
plus DELETED SCENES with optional commentary by Sylvester stallone
there's about 51mins of Deleted scenes that are given new HD transfers which i've checked out
and found out when watching them that some of these scenes could've been left in the film to make the storyline more interesting actually
i guess Sylvester was having alot of Arguments with the Warner bros executives about the film's very long runtime
so 51mins had to be cut out of the finally film version
the Theatrical cut goes for 117mins so maybe another 20mins of scenes would've been better for the storyline
there's also the usual DVD commentary from Renny Harlin aswell
so the only difference is the new HD transfer & 5.1 master mix, both the dvd & blu-ray have the same special features
so either buy the new blu-ray for much better picture quality or stay with the old dvd version
maybe 3 stars for the film, 3 stars for the blu-ray
He does not seem very credible as a race driver. The story is not strong. There is however one good scene where Stallone does this stunt where he puts a stack of quarters on the track and picks them up from behind the wheel while negotiating a four wheel drift. It looks quite impossible and I wouldn't believe it possible except that I know that it is a recreation of a real stunt often performed by Fangio in the sixties.
If you don't know who Fangio was you're not likely to care for this film.
For there is plenty of action. The speed and horror of crashing are well communicated, as is - strangely enough - the simple thrill of racing. Harlin does a good job with the action sequences, making the moment of impact truly impressive. Racing relies so much on instinct rather than preplanned thought; the pit crew and support staff can only prepare and plan so much - the race still revolves around the driver. Racing is an old sport, and any tried-and-true fans who rent or buy this film hoping accurate, down-to-the-nub details will be disappointed. Harlin and Stallone take plenty of dramatic license. The famous chase through the streets of Chicago? Come on. While obviously something like that would never happen, I understand that Harlin and Stallone were trying to communicate the rage of a rejected young man in a unique and forceful manner. I can allow for that; but the chase went on far too long, almost as though it were enjoying the spectacle for its own sake. Don't say you weren't warned.
Still, in between the racing montages and the overly-loud boom-boom music, there are some good parts. Robert Sean Leonard of "House" fame turns a really great performance. Stallone is strangely given little to do - the story of his character, Joe Tanto, is truncated, giving the impression that is where a lot of cutting happened so the film focuses more on Jimmy Bly (a suitably intense Kip Pardue). This is unfortunate, because I speculate that it is Tanto's back-story that is the real catalyst for the final climatic race. Certain elements of the story felt forced as a result. Our introduction to Joe Tanto happens with little warning or preamble, and exactly why Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds) thought Tanto could help the situation is never clearly stated. Stallone is perfectly cast as the old veteran with a few good races left in him; but , save for the ending, all his character does is dispense advice throughout the film. We see his impact on others, but never really see the impact of events on him.
And this is ultimately what drags Driven down: is it about Bly (Pardue) or Tanto (Stallone)? They assembled some good young acting talent, had Stallone ready to play the embattled-but-charming man of wisdom, had Burt Reynolds ready to chew up any scenery he was given. What was 'wrong' in the '80s for Stallone was 'right' for this movie: if it was more about his character, Joe Tanto, his relationship with Carl Henry (Reynolds), and the changes Tanto had to make to help a younger driver and allow himself to get back a little dignity, suddenly you'd have a pretty good film on your hands. Instead, what we have is an assemblage of racing montages with fragments of a story in between - a real wasted opportunity.