An Entertaining Ride With Not Enough Horsepower

It was the dream vehicle of every kid living in the ‘70s. It’s the car that goes hand in hand with Back to the Future. Yep, we’re talking about the DeLorean. Everyone knows something about the famous car but what do you know about its creator John DeLorean?

Whether it’s nothing or a lot, you will certainly know more about him after watching “Driven”. This latest work from director Nick Hamm sputters (“The Journey”, “Killing Bono”) at some times but overall it’s a very pleasant watch.

The film starts very promisingly. A few men in suits, walking into the courthouse to the tunes of upbeat music. We see Special Agent Benedict Tisa (Corey Stoll) giving some last-minute advice to Jim Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis).

Nerve-wracking times are ahead for Hoffman. Why? Well, because Tisa caught him with a massive amount of drugs and a pile of unfilled taxes. This could be the beginning of Hoffman’s time behind bars… if it wasn’t for a secret deal with Tisa.

He walks free if he snitches on multiple people who were involved in the drug deal. ‘A drugs dealer making a deal with an FBI agent. Where is DeLorean coming in?’ Let us tell you. John DeLorean (Lee Pace) is one of the many people that are on the FBI wanted list. This would be the perfect opportunity for Tisa to catch him and for Hoffman to walk free.

After (strategically) moving next door to DeLorean, Hoffman is infiltrating his life, the world of decadence and luxury cars. It might be because of adoration and the need for friendship but mostly because Hoffman has his hidden agenda.

It will take a lot of patience and meticulously planned strategy to pull it off. How? Hamm will show you. From DeLorean and Hoffman becoming friends and starting their shady business to the FBI closing in on them and from the emotional impact this has on Hoffman’s family to being caught up in a web full of lies and betrayal.

Who will walk away with the brand new car, the biggest amount of money and most importantly as a free man and who will sadly have to face time in jail?

The story about DeLorean is more than about manufacturing brand new and unique cars. It’s a thrilling one in which politics, drugs, a lot of money and undercover operations collide.

What a shame that the story in “Driven” becomes a little bit too bland and we get that ‘yes, we’ve seen it all’ feeling. When it comes to the storyline, this movie could have benefited from much more horsepower. The unique idea is there, the written story not for a full 100%.

We have to admit that, despite that average story, we enjoyed this movie. More than we should have. There are a handful of reasons why “Driven” is worth the watch.

We don’t know how many actors would get away with wearing an (obviously) fake wig and moustache but Sudeikis (“Booksmart”, “Colossal”) is certainly one of them. Just as always he’s pleasant and charming to watch as the amiable guy next door.

The fact that Hoffman is leading a double life gives Sudeikis the chance to be even more funny and witty. Another reason or better said another person that brings the best out of Sudeikis is Pace (“Captain Marvel”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”).

He just oozes that ‘I’m the man’ vibe as the typical businessman with the American dream, multiple pool parties, and many wives. Pace puts DeLorean and his egocentric attitude on screen with a lot of charisma, skill, and attitude. Even when this movie seems to be running out of gas, it’s the chemistry between Sudeikis and Pace that keeps it going.

Stoll (“The Seagull”, “Ant-Man”) joins those wonderful actors with his fine acting as the determined and on-edge special agent who’s certainly not afraid to play a dirty game.

To make sure that “Driven” isn’t only filled with boys and their toys, there’s female power in the form of Judy Greer (“Ant-Man”, “War for the Planet of the Apes”). Her role as Hoffman’s nagging wife might be a bit of an ungrateful role but she still shows us an emotional acting performance.

What makes from this film one that doesn’t take itself too seriously is without a doubt the clothes and props. Wigs in many different colours, many clothing styles that don’t make any sense and flashy glasses just for the show. It might seem like a bit over the top but it fits into “Driven” perfectly.

Even more so because of the setting of the story. Hamm takes you to southern California in the ‘70s and ’80s during which sunshine, happiness, and good vibes were present. All the excessive clothing and gadgets were probably just fashion during that time.

We also have to mention the cinematography from Karl Walter Lindenlaub (“Revolt”, “Nine Lives”) and music by Geronimo Mercado (“Speed Kills”, “Sacred Family”). Right from the start, they draw us to the screen with very craftily made wide shots and an upbeat and thrilling score.

Earlier this year, DeLorean came to the big screen in the documentary “Framing John DeLorean”. If you still want to know more about the egocentric man behind one of the most fascinating cars then you’re in luck.

Thanks to Hamm, you can now again relive the American dream DeLorean had (and what eventually really happened). The story itself doesn’t get faster than the 2nd gear. Once Sudeikis, Pace and Stoll come together, “Driven” certainly accelerates in the right direction.

“Driven” is in cinemas now and is available via digital download.

Intense thriller where politics, big business and narcotics collide.

8th November 2019

Nick Hamm

Colin Bateman

Running Time:
1h 53min

Tessingtons - Purveyors of Fine Teas

Have your say