Going only by the name of "Driver," no one really knows who he is or where he comes from. He has no family, and lives alone in an L.A. Apartment. Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a man who has little to say. In fact, in the first five minutes of the film, Driver has minimal lines of dialogue. He is a contract get away driver for stick-up men, a hollywood stunt man, and also works for a low-level scum bag/crime boss, named Shannon (Bryan Cranston) as his mechanic. Shannon also sets Driver up to go to work for local gangsters with mafia ties. Driver becomes friends with and develops feelings for his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan.) He then decides to help Irene's husband get out of debt from a prison gang, and then the several sub-plots of the story soon tie together and connect to Driver.
Gosling delivers with the coolness of Steve McQueen or a young Ryan O'Neal. What makes Gosling's character appealing is that what he lacks in dialogue, he makes up for in his actions; he shows who his character is by his actions and not words. Almost reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name," his portrayal of his character leaves it up to the audience to guess what his background is. Gosling's interaction with Carey Mulligan also lacks a lot of dialogue, but they make up for it in their on-camera chemistry and body language. Also starring Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman, the casting ensemble of this film mesh together perfectly.
The action starts from the get-go with a high speed chase scene done with excellent cinematography by veteran cameraman Newton Sigel. Director Nicolas Refn shot the film entirely on location in Los Angeles, getting the most out of production value from modern day L.A. With action-packed chase scenes equal to "Bullit" (1968) and "Vanishing Point" (1971) this high-speed adrenaline rush of a film is a must see.