Driven by Stallone.

Directed by Renny Harlin. USA. 2001.


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Sylvester Stallone attended several Formula One Grand Prix events as part of his research for this film. In the end he chose US-based CART racing for his story of torrid emotions on and off-the-track; all Formula One supporters should thank their God or Gods for this decision.

Stallone ready to be Driven.There is a cinematic rule that whenever someone wants to make a motor racing movie it will be a dud. Racing fans will notice all the inaccuracies (in Driven the racing cars speed and fly beyond all normal expectation), whilst the general viewer will be left cold by the loving shots of hot metal roaring around and around.

Often the most successful motor racing or car sequences appear in films that donít have them as their main subject. Look at The Italian Job, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Bullett, Terminator II or Diamonds Are Forever for such sequences that have a relevance and purpose to the basic narrative, not just for the sake of showing speeding internal combustion engines. 

The Fast and the Furious has young street racers linked to crime, but it is all flash and lip gloss - compare it with the real angst of the youngsters in Rebel Without A Cause who duel by motor vehicle for honour and peer group status rather than for hard cash. Meanwhile, Driven is Rocky meets Days of Thunder but there is no bolt of lightning or blinding knockout. 

Perhaps one day someone will make THE motor racing movie. Certainly Iíd like to see one based on Formula One but I suspect the pressures and restraints on film producers makes this very unlikely.

Nigel Watson
 
 
 
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Material Copyright © 2002 Nigel Watson