Director – Steve Wang (Guyver: Dark Hero, Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
Starring – Mark Dacascos (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Tales from the Crypt), Kadeem Hardison (Vampire in Brooklyn, Def by Temptation), and John Pyper-Ferguson (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., American Horror Story)
Release Date – 1997
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
While I’m always quick to praise Vinegar Syndrome, Mondo Macabro, Blue Underground, Arrow Video, and the like for giving us films that seem to be lost to time I often forget to shine light on MVD and their Rewind Collection. I’m very much a product of the mid-80s that grew up in the 90s so the video store was a huge part of my childhood. While I appreciate labels those I previous mentioned for releasing previously forgotten gems, MVD’s Rewind Collection brings back a part of my childhood that I honestly miss.
I loved going to my local ma and pop video store and grabbing a movie strictly based on the box art only to get home and be disappointed. That was part of the fun. Even if the movie sucked it was still an experience. When MVD announced the 1997 action flick Drive I was extremely excited to dig into it. I never rented this one on tape as a kid but I did watch bits and pieces of it on television when I was in middle school. I reached out to MVD and they were kind enough to send a review copy my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a medically enhanced man who has an implant installed in his body from a Hong Kong based lab. However, he heard that someone in the U.S. will pay five million for one of the implants so he flees to the U.S. while the company hires a group of mercenaries to track him down. While on the run he forcibly kidnaps a down on his luck song writer to take him to sell the part resulting in high speed chases, action packed fight scenes, and explosions. **Spoiler Alert**
The few scenes that I remember from Drive that I saw features Hardison and Brittany Murphey in a garage. It was fun but at the time I was more focused on something else. However, after finally getting to see the film in it’s entirety I have to say that I was fucking missing out. It is one of the most action packed comedies I have ever seen and I can’t recommend it enough.
The acting in this one is solid for the most part but it does feel a bit dry at times. Mark Dacascos is no stranger to my reviews but it seems like here he traded in his acting for his martial arts skills. He’s been in several films where he surprised me with his acting skills along with his martial arts expertise. Sadly, this time around he dials up the action scenes and completely blows my mind with his fighting skills. However, the acting is a bit short and he hams it up a lot. With that being said, Hardison delivers another great performance. I loved watching him in Vampire in Brooklyn and Def by Temptation with Drive being his best performance I’ve seen yet. As much as I enjoyed Hardison I would be lying if I didn’t admit how much I enjoyed John Pyper-Ferguson in his role. He really is a scene stealer.
The story for this one is pretty simple and straight forward but it’s the action scenes that set it apart from the other films like it. When it comes to 90s straight to video action films we have seen countless scientifically enhanced humans centered films where they must fight what seems like an endless army of goons to fulfill a mission. We got Nemesis, Cyborg, Universal Soldier, and so on. These are all fun films with plenty of action but Drive has likable characters, some humor that hits at the right time, and the action is unparalleled.
Finally, the film has some fun gun wounds but the fit the film so they don’t showcase any blood or gore. The film is focused on the action and doesn’t deliver the red stuff. With that being said, the choreography in this one is insane. The fight scenes are so well put together and acted that you will find yourself rewinding several scenes to watch again. Overall, Drive may not be at the top of anyone’s must see list but it should be. I really enjoyed this one and I wish I would have taken the time to watch it during my youth. The blu release from MVD doesn’t disappoint and it a highlight of their Rewind Collection series. I highly recommend it.
High Definition (1080p) presentation of the Extended Director’s Cut in 2.35:1 aspect ratio from a brand new 4K HD scan of the original cameral negative.
Audio: 2.0 Stereo LPCM, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Audio commentary by director Steve Wang, fight choreographer Koichi Sakamoto and stars Mark Dacascos and Kadeem Hardison
Drive: The Force Behind The Storm’ documentary (SD, 47:42)
Six Deleted Scenes (SD, 08:42)
Interview gallery with cast, director and crew including stars Mark Dacascos and Kadeem Hardison, director Steve Wang, Second Unit Director Wyatt Weed and Stunt Coordinator Koichi Sakamoto (SD, 24:30)
Drive: Theatrical Cut with optional English Subtitles (HD, 1:39:00)
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD, 01:38)
Reversible Artwork with Alternative Cover
Includes BOTH the Extended Directors Cut + the original theatrical cut of the film.