Racing Move Project: Driven

drivenMovie: Driven

Year: 2001

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue, Stacy Edwards, Til Schweiger, Gina Gershon, Estella Warren

Plot: Rookie driver can’t handle all the pressures of big-time racing and his demanding brother/manager. Owner hires (and later fires) grizzled veteran to help. In between, there’s a broken engagement, a stolen girlfriend, a bitchy ex-wife, and a plucky reporter (who I don’t think ever wrote anything).

Rating: ⚑ (one really big black flag)

My thoughts: There never was a good time to watch this movie. But watching it immediately after Senna was a really bad idea.

I know a lot of you tried to talk me out of watching this movie. And I thank you for the concern. But I hate-watched this movie as a reminder that not all racing movies are good — and more importantly, that racing can’t save a movie. Also, Driven makes me appreciate the other racing movie out there.

The long and the short of it? Not-so-good writing. No-so-go acting. And not-so-realistic racing action. If you’re going to tell a story in the racing world, make sure you get the details right. And apparently racing is not exciting enough — EVERY crash was horrific with cars getting airborne and exploding.

This is the first of three movies in the Racing Movie Project that stars Burt Reynolds. Except he’s not racing across country in an ambulance with Dom DeLuise. Or flirting with future wife Loni Anderson. Or driving a kick-ass Trans Am (not in the Project but always worth mentioning). Nope. All he does is hire and fire drivers on a whim.

I could go on and on about the things wrong (or inaccurate) about this movie. But we all know what they are.

So I have two questions for you. First, was there any redeeming part to this movie? I can’t find one. I thought maybe you might know of one. Second, what would be your ideal IndyCar movie? Is there a real-life IndyCar story that should be told? I’m thinking Alex Zanardi. What do you think?

One thought on “Racing Move Project: Driven

  1. Rick Weber (@rickweber) says:

    I’ve always though the Donald Davidson Story would make a great movie. Young man in England working at a movie theater and dreaming if one day attending the Indy 500. Finally saves up his money and comes to Indy knowing no one but quickly impresses those he meets with his knowledge of all things Indy. He ends up on the radio broadcast briefly that first year due to meeting Sid Collins earlier in the month.
    I’ve always though that would make a great coming of age movie and could show the Speedway through the years, etc.
    My second movie idea would be the 1988 Phil Kreuger Story.

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