The iconic, world famous car that featured in the Back to the Future movies was created by John DeLorean. This infamous figure finally gets a film made of his fascinating exploits, and it’s a absurdly funny and engaging watch, with a sensational ensemble all delivering their A game.
John DeLorean (Lee Pace) is a wealthy engineer and designer looking for funding for his new ‘car of the future’. DeLorean befriends Jim Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis), a fast talking petty criminal enterpriser who moves into his neighbourhood and who, unbeknown to him, is a secret FBI informer (who themselves are very interested in DeLorean’s exploits). With Special Agent Benedict Tisa (Corey Stoll) putting increasing pressure on him to serve up DeLorean, Jim has to navigate a minefield of concerns if he is to stay out of jail.
This movie is mostly true, but that hasn’t stopped the DeLorean estate from criticising the film. Regardless, Driven is still a very entertaining watch, and that’s largely down to two barn-storming performances from Lee Pace and Jason Sudeikis. Pace is a true chameleon of his craft and never hands in a poor performance. He gives DeLorean’s character enough mystery to keep you hooked whilst easily personifying the debonair playboy side of the man.
Jason Sudeikis is always reliable, and like Pace, never hands in a poor performance in any of his projects. The role of Jim Hoffman is one that requires a lot of natural charisma to keep the audience invested in his plight. Sudeikis has this in spades and is always entertaining, fresh and funny. Both he and Pace strike up a nice balance, with their friendship/rivalry being a high point of the film.
The film is blessed with a fantastic ensemble including Judy Greer, who is always the best thing in her projects. I feel that she never really gets her dues in Hollywood, despite being a name you can trust for decades now. Driven showcases her talents as a captivating force in film, and gives the movie a backbone. She is a joy to watch here and gives the film a lot of heart.
Corey Stoll, Michael Cudlitz, Erin Moriarty and Justin Bartha make up the supporting cast and all do well. It’s hilarious to see Stoll’s Special Agent Tisa increasingly lose his patience when it comes to dealing with Jim. Again, the comedic sensibilities of Sudeikis against Stoll’s frustrated lawman make for some very funny character exchanges. For anyone who saw the recent superhero series The Boys on Amazon, you’ll know that Erin Moriarty’s star is on the rise and she’s really great here as the hard-to-handle Katy Connors. The same can be said for Michael Cudlitz, who steals every one of his scenes as a brash criminal businessman named Morgan Hetrick.
Driven tells us a fascinating story. Whilst there are a few additional characters and liberties taken with the truth, it still paints an interesting side to not only John DeLorean’s way of doing business, but also his mad genius at a time when excesses and wealth were the up and coming currency. Enjoy the film on face value rather than looking at it as a documentary, and you’ll enjoy the ride a lot more. This is a crazy caper that shines a telling light onto the creator of one of the most infamous automobiles ever created – an iconic symbol for the decade that would go on to be a marker for the excesses of the time.
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Lee Pace, Judy Greer, Corey Stoll, Erin Moriarty, Michael Cudlitz, Isabel Arraiza, Justin Bartha Director: Nick Hamm Writer: Colin Bateman Certificate: 15 Duration: 113mins Released by: Vertigo Releasing Release date: 8th November 2019