Drive is one of those cult films that just missed me upon initial release. Hell, I think I missed the second wave as well.
If it’s funny and they Drive, I guess it’s a Cult Classic?
Maybe it’s because I was always more of a Doomer kid that I never quite got into Drive. I dug Kadeem Hardison from TV, but I never went out of my way to see a Mark Dacascos movie. All of the John Wick 3 fans are going to come out of the woodwork to roast me, but here I am. I was always an arthouse nerd who leaned into horror movies more than action fare.
Director Steve Wang co-directed The Guyver and that’s about all I know him from before watching Drive. So, I can’t say I saw an artistic style or directing choices that helped this movie to stand out in a crowded marketplace. But, people seem to love it. Why? Well, because everyone in the world digs a cool hang movie.
There’s a lot going on in the movie.
Drive features a super weapon hero with something embedded in his body. Kadeem Hardison is the comic relief who is there to drive him to freedom. Naturally, it went straight to video. But, why did that happen? Well, I blame Film Twitter. Twitter didn’t exist yet, but that film nerd mentality of championing movies and then leaving them to die on the vine is decades old.
Still, it’s not something that would sell easily to even cult film fans of the late 1990s. Younger people forget that it was an edgier time where everyone was either trying to be Tarantino or someone darker and cooler that you never heard about in your multiplex life. Hell, I remember what my little Edgelord self was watching at that time. I had a handful of Goth girls trying to get me to watch The Doom Generation with them.
Were they into Gregg Araki? No. They all just wanted to be Rose MacGowan and I just wanted Goth girls to like me. So, I guess this is what the other film nerds watched. Weird to be catching up with it 25 years later, but I enjoy it enough.
What does the 88 Films 4K UHD look like?
88 Films has brought Drive to 4K UHD with the Director’s Cut in 4K UHD and the original cut in HD. I know that there are some that dig listening to that techno soundtrack and like the shorter cut, but would it have made a difference to have both cuts in 4K? Especially when 90% of the public prefers what the director intended in the first place?
That being said, the 4K UHD transfer plays super dark to me. Now, I’ve been watching 4K transfers all year long from various parts of the world. Hell, I’ve been watching some 88 Films original country of origin discs to compare them against 88 Films USA output. So, I’m going to chalk this one up to the source material.
Having not been an OG fan, I can’t say whether or not the film looked this dark upon initial release. But, the Dolby Atmos track is super supportive and makes the soundstage bigger than most late 90s action films. Whomever did the sound design on this movie deserves their due credit.