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Drive begins with a monologue, spoken over the phone, from its titular character, the otherwise nameless “Driver.” In it, he espouses his personal code for his job (which, inbetween stunt-driving gigs for movies, entails getaway driving for thieves). Shortly thereafter, we get a look at him in action, driving the getaway car during a nighttime heist in which he escapes police attention with robotic precision and skill. In this opening sequence, Nicolas Winding Refn establishes a well-explored archetype as the basis for his lead character, and proceeds to spend the next 90-odd minutes dismantling it piece-by-piece, revealing a character that is perfect on the surface but broken underneath.

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