Driven (2019)

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An FBI informant and a car maker forge quite an interesting friendship that goes downward in the story of the DeLorean scandal as seen through the eyes of the informant.

Jim Hoffman, a pilot who served as a drug mule for local dealer Morgan Hetrick, has been busted and is set to make a deal with the FBI. The deal is that he will get witness protection as long as he continues his relationship with Hetrick, who has been making millions in the drug business. However, Jim’s life is about to change when he learns his next-door neighbor is John DeLorean, who is attempting to get his creation on the market.

The two hit it off right away and forge a friendship. However, as Jim is continuously forced to deal with his undercover informant work, it begins to slowly take a toll on his marriage. However, his friendship with DeLorean helps the marriage get stronger. Things are about to take a potentially dangerous turn after the DeLorean model is revealed to be a complete bust and the company is on the brink of bankruptcy. When Morgan learns of Jim’s friendship with DeLorean, it leads to one of the biggest scandals that rocked the early 1980s.

In an age where biopics involving various real-life stories are becoming quite the trend, this film, directed by Nick Hamm takes the story of the DeLorean scandal, in which the man whose namesake car would be iconic in terms of the Back to the Future films, was charged with cocaine trafficking but ultimately was found not guilty as it was revealed that he was the victim of police entrapment.

The film’s driving (no pun intended) forces are without a doubt Lee Pace and Jason Sudeikis. Pace gives an excellent performance as DeLorean himself, a man who thrives on making his dream come true no matter what it will cost. He’s high on life for most of the film until reality ultimately crashes down on him. As for Sudeikis, usually known for his comedy, he pulls off an impressive performance as Hoffman, the pilot turned drug mule turned FBI informant who attempts to keep his charade up from his wife, played by Judy Greer, but is eventually found out by her and it puts a nail on the coffin of his marriage. Not the final nail, but very close it at first, until somehow, someway, she agrees to let herself support her husband.

The film also has some well, scuzzy like characters. While this particular character is just doing his job, one can’t help but not feel any sympathy for Corey Stoll’s FBI agent Tisa, who puts Jim back where he doesn’t really belong. As for Michael Cudlitz, he gives a pretty intense performance as the cowboy hat-wearing drug dealer Morgan Hetrick, who becomes the trigger when he learns of the budding friendship between DeLorean and his drug mule Hoffman. At times, Cudlitz plays Hetrick as relatively calm, but then at other times, he goes from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds when it becomes time to party or when he’s planning something extremely dangerous.

Driven is an interesting look at the DeLorean scandal as seen through the eyes of the informant who may be responsible for the eventual acquittal of John DeLorean. Jason Sudeikis and Lee Pace are the “driven” forces of the film, with some great support in this pretty good biopic.

WFG RATING: B

Universal Pictures and WME Global presents a Tempo Productions Limited production in association with Blue Rider Pictures, Greenroom Entertainment, Pimienta, and Romulus Entertainment. Director: Nick Hamm. Producers: Rene Besson, Walter Josten, Luillo Ruiz, Brad Feinstein, and Piers Tempest. Writer: Colin Bateman. Cinematography: Karl Walter Lindenlaub. Editing: Brett M. Reed.

Cast: Lee Pace, Jason Sudeikis, Judy Greer, Michel Cudlitz, Corey Stoll, Justin Bartha, issabel Arraiza, Erin Moriarty, Iddo Goldberg, Yuji Okumoto.

The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on July 16.

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