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Warner Bros.
Official Site
Director: Renny Harlin
Producer: Don Carmody
Written by: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Kip Pardue, Til Schweiger, Burt Reynolds, Estella Warren, Brent Briscoe, Gina Gershon, Robert Sean Leonard, Cristian de la Fuente, Verona Feldbusch

Rating: out of 5

Hmmmmm, this movie would have driven me mad if I wasnít laughing so much. Flooded with too many conflicting relationships and horrendous dialogue, DRIVEN drove itself right off a cliff. Itís hard to believe Stallone, the same writer of ROCKY, wrote this piece of road kill; well, not that hard to believeóhe did pen the four other ROCKY sequels.

DRIVEN revisits the racecar movie where DAYS OF THUNDER left off. More complex than the basic competitor versus champ conflict as in DAYS, DRIVEN explores how the pressures and competition affect drivers. Kip Pardue tries another sport this time, (he played the star quarterback in REMEMBER THE TITANS) and stars as Jimmy Blye, the unpredictable prodigy racecar driver. Not only does he have to deal with his own inner doubts, he has to combat his money-driven brother/manager (Leonard) and his competition-driven coach Carl Henry (Reynolds).

To help out the struggling young driver, Henry enlists the aid of a racecar veteran, Joe Tanto (why they picked this last name, I have no idea!) (Stallone) to offer inspiration to Blye. Unfortunately, that move doesnít work as the pressures build up on Blye. To give himself the edge off the racetrack, Blye scoops up the world championís (Schweiger) wife after they separate. When Sophia (Warren) realizes she still loves her hubby Beau, Blye drives off in his car in a jealous, infantile rage. Driving perilously through the city streets in a racecar, Tanto chases after Blye in his own racecar. After creating massive traffic chaos, Tanto convinces Blye to rediscover why he actually got into racing.

Amid the subplots one key scene between Reynolds and Stallone (coach and driver) shines through. While arguing in the garage they each expose each otherís shortcomings, shining a different light on their relationship. If this movie had taken a more psychological approach to showing conflicts in the racecar profession it would have been more interesting than interspersing the action-filled track scenes with emotional conflict that seems forced and staged. Even though the young kid prodigy-mentor relationship was tortuously portrayed in ROCKY V, DRIVEN would have benefited from a little more thoughtful focus on the connection between a venerable driver and a younger one.

This plot had potential but it was squandered on the unrealistic special effects and graphics during action scenes. The movie wasnít a total bomb, but it had definite believability issues. If you want a mindless action flick with racecars rent (you donít need to see this one in a theatre) DRIVEN.

óJennifer Prestigiacomo

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

Mike Doughty

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