The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

DRIVE HARD (2014) ***

Wait a minute. You mean to tell me there’s a car chase movie starring Thomas Jane and John Cusack, and it’s from the director of Leprechaun 3? Sign me up for that!

Jane stars as a washed-up American race car driver who is now reduced to being a driving instructor in Australia. Cusack is his latest student, and he hoodwinks Jane into being his getaway driver for a bank heist. Pretty soon, they’re pursued by not only the cops, but the criminals that own the bank.

The two stars have good chemistry and they have plenty of funny scenes together. Cusack’s first driving lesson is pretty great and nicely sets the tone for the rest of the film. I also dug the scene where he makes Jane call the cops and he gives a terrible performance over the phone, causing Cusack to shoot the phone in frustration.

Dressed in a baseball hat, dark shades, and black suit, Cusack is a lot of fun to watch. Whether he’s hammily sucking on a vapor hookah or belittling Jane’s masculinity, Cusack gets plenty of laughs. Jane, who is always good at playing the wrong guy at the wrong place at the wrong time, gives yet another solid performance and shows he’s also quite a gifted comedian.

Director Brian Trenchard-Smith delivers plenty of solid car chases throughout. Sometimes though, the stunt work is a bit obvious (you can see some of the rigging when one of the cars flips over). Some of the oddball detours (like a run in with a pistol-packing granny) don’t exactly work, but the pacing is fast enough that it’s easy to excuse a lot of the film’s excesses.

Drive Hard also suffers from a low budget. Many of the exposition scenes and much of the stuff involving the mobster villains is a tad on the dull side too. Whenever Cusack and Jane are bickering though, Drive Hard is a lot of fun.

Tags: action, d
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