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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.46%
Worth A Look: 7.59%
Just Average: 16.46%
Pretty Crappy: 20.25%

5 reviews, 49 user ratings

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Driven (2001)
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by EricDSnider

"Quit with the dull talking and get to the action! (Not a porn review.)"
3 stars

One of a movie critic’s favorite things is when a film reviews itself. Sylvester Stallone’s new racecar flick “Driven” does that when a character instructs one of the drivers, “Talk less and drive more.” Amen, brother.

The action scenes in “Driven” are full of adrenaline and excitement. Director Renny Harlin (“Die Hard 2,” “Cliffhanger”), whose style is one that says, “Don’t forget this movie has a director — and it’s ME!,” puts the viewer in the driver’s seat and, putting aside Harlin’s sledgehammer techniques, the action is extremely exciting.

The talky parts in between, by contrast, are dull and melodramatic, with soap-opera dialogue on the order of “What’s that supposed to mean?!” and “You never loved me!”

Stallone plays Joe Tanto, a formerly successful driver who retired a few years ago after nearly killing one of his colleagues in a wreck.

The film avoids the cliché of showing us that accident as a prologue (a la “Cliffhanger,” “Vertical Limit,” “Along Came a Spider,” etc., etc.). However, I believe that is the only cliché the film avoids. Shall we count the rest?

Tanto (1) comes out of retirement to help a rookie driver (Kip Pardue) defeat a cocky top racer (Til Schweiger). The new guy, Jimmy, is in the process of (2) stealing the other guy’s girlfriend, which (3) intensifies their rivalry.

Jimmy, meanwhile, is being manipulated by his brother/agent, who is vigorously dedicated to making Jimmy succeed to (4) make up for his own failures.

Speaking of failures, Jimmy’s owner Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds) is paralyzed, suggesting a dire accident from years ago that (5) left him unable to drive anymore.

Stallone wrote the script, apparently in one draft. There are a dozen or so characters, all with back stories, and Stallone conveys them all with unnatural-sounding dialogue. For example: “That ex-wife of yours is a piece of work,” someone tells Joe. “She divorces you and marries another driver!” Why not just put a subtitle on the screen saying, “Joe’s ex-wife divorced him and married another driver”? (The top racer, Beau, lets us know about his history with Joe with an equally obvious line: “You almost killed me.” Thanks for filling us in, Beau.)

There’s also the matter of the largely irrelevant sports announcers who tells us what’s happening in the races even when we can plainly see for ourselves. When one of them says, “Only inches separate these two cars,” guess what’s on the screen? That’s right: a shot of two cars separated only by inches.

As mentioned, the race scenes are exciting, and that includes the ludicrous one where Jimmy and Joe go racing through the streets of Chicago at 200 mph. But director Renny Harlin seems insecure otherwise. Why else would one feel the need to have music playing for 99 percent of the film, if not out of fear that the work won’t stand on its own? And why all the attention-grabbing gimmicks like slow-motion and choppy editing? If the story or characters were any good, you wouldn’t need these tricks.

In the acting category, only Gina Gershon as Joe’s catty ex-wife is very interesting, and that’s because she plays her role with the campiness the script practically begs for. Everyone else is so darned serious all the time.

It’s a standard story with stock characters and soapy dialogue, but it thinks it’s a legitimate action/drama. Enjoy those racing scenes, and take a nap the rest of the time.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3909&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/26/01 13:13:23
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User Comments

12/28/17 morris campbell good racing scenes nothing else 2 stars
12/05/14 MarkM Avoid at all costs! Nothing good about "Drivel", err I mean "Driven". Pure dreck. 1 stars
10/21/08 Shaun Wallner Very Boring! 1 stars
8/19/07 mr.mike not great , but Sly and Burt make it tolerable 3 stars
8/17/05 ES This movie kept me from getting home one night due to roads being closed for the filming 1 stars
6/13/05 E-FUNK Who the fuck green-lights vaginal discharge like this? Fucking awful in every respect. 1 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW WORTH SITTING THROUGH FOR Gina Gershon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/11/05 The Sorrow Gina Gershon was the only saving grace of this film for me... 4 stars
2/15/05 Sugarfoot Just what the world needed, Rocky meets Cannonball Run. With Stallone and Reynolds no less. 1 stars
9/04/04 Archanist_101 Not bad... They could've fixed the script a little... Gina Gershon ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
2/06/04 Kurt Wagner promised much more than it ever delivered. 1 stars
11/27/03 John very bad film that I happen to like 3 stars
5/19/03 your worse goddamn nightmare A chick I'm fuckin' is somewhere in the background in this movie. So that makes it... 5 stars
4/23/03 Andrew Carden Great Cast, Bad Movie. 2 stars
3/31/03 Mr. Do shitty movie. shitty music. 1 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Should've made a permanant PITStop before darkening theatres. 1 stars
2/08/03 The Bint The Only way to survive this piece of shit was to CONCUSS MYSELF WITH MY OWN FIST! 1 stars
1/21/03 Chiendog Once again, Stallone is asleep at the wheel. 1 stars
8/02/02 Terrie Smith Really embarassing watching Stallone & Reynolds trying to act. Complete waste of time. 2 stars
5/31/02 doug good 4 stars
5/21/02 Kat Balue Of the so-bad-its-good variety. 'Showgirls' with a speedometer instead of boobs 5 stars
2/22/02 Beyonder I would have liked if I was 10 years old ! 2 stars
1/15/02 David A. Stallone in a non-violent role? I'm surpised but it rocked big time! Great! 5 stars
12/07/01 Dominik Duprelle I hadn't LAUGHED so hard in years! INSPIRED! BRILLIANT COMEDY! 5 stars
10/07/01 jawsboy Dog shit editing!! Badly written script,stupid!! Bad acting from most.maybe one good scene? 2 stars
10/01/01 Phoenix It looks and plays like a video game, but video games are fun and so is some of the movie. 3 stars
9/24/01 Daphne Aguilera I don't think it was bad 5 stars
8/16/01 ryan burns was good till the cones i had wore off !!!! 3 stars
8/10/01 kris Rubbish 2 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk I would rather run hot, searing needles through my scrotal sac than watch this again... 1 stars
6/30/01 Nicole Wouldn't see it again. Everyone's mess was in the movie plot, sucked 2 stars
5/07/01 Rampage Burt Reynolds?!?!? What the hell were they thinking! 2 stars
5/07/01 Trister Kept me on the edge of my seat all movie long. 5 stars
5/07/01 Timo UK Special effects sucked! 2 stars
5/06/01 Porkchop Action packed!!! 4 stars
5/06/01 Just for Estella Warren This movie sucked shit,the only thing worth seeing in this movie is Estella Warren 3 stars
5/05/01 Bill Great!!!!! 5 stars
5/05/01 Shane cant wait for the fast and the furious 2 stars
5/03/01 roby lafon a great movie 5 stars
5/02/01 Randal Graves Not great not bad but kicked the hell out of Crouching tiger 3 stars
5/01/01 Pat Scopelliti Stunningly bad. Dude, this movie sucks! 1 stars
4/30/01 Wambat dude U suck ass That movie was awesome 5 stars
4/29/01 Eric Barnes Very Exhilerating, Pure Action 5 stars
4/29/01 Chris Smith Very cool racing scenes. Very Entertaining!! 4 stars
4/29/01 bullit17 Over-directed and under-written. And even the action scenes get ruined with unnecessary FX 3 stars
4/28/01 JH When I say this is a Formula movie, I'm not talking about the cars. 1 stars
4/28/01 Ben Demyen Best racing movie ever! 5 stars
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  27-Apr-2001 (PG-13)


  16-Aug-2001 (M)

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