Synopsis: In the dangerous universe of motorsport, drivers risk their lives to reach the top of the podium. To beat rival Beau Brandenburg, rookie Jimmy Blye enlists the help of Joe Tanto, a veteran track star who must overcome his own traumas.
Sports-based films often have a very interesting feature: not only does using the sport itself as its sole narrative tool, but also aligning it with a dramatic connection so that it gains the necessary weight and become relevant - in cinematographic terms - and not just entertainment. Unfortunately, with this title, the rule makes an exception for an action-focused product and seems to forget everything else.
The exciting world of Formula 1 racing is the perfect stage for many thrills... But presenting this sport (or any other sport, by the way) through a big-screen approach requires a compelling behind-the-scenes narrative. Since this doesn't exist, the result may even be explosive (as it actually happens here), but as credits rise, it proves to be an empty experience.
Since the extremely simple script tries to turn out to be something bigger than it actually is (betting on a weak and poorly developed drama, where rivalry is never convincingly present enough to become a hotbed to nourish the narrative), the movie bets wildly on the creative action sequences that are definitely the most exciting aspect to watch and also, the only element that can hold the viewer's attention until its end.
On the one hand, this is interesting because it shows a certain care with visual production, which is technically the most important point at which the movie was built. But still, this attempt to win the audience with an extra dose of adrenaline is still not enough to inject the breath it needs to become something really good (or at least try to be)... Which would not be too difficult if there was minimal attention to the script.
Sylvester Stallone heads the uninteresting cast (including himself... by the way, this is one of your worst works) in this four-wheel adventure and it's impressive how much everyone - without exception, which is pretty bad in overall - delivers misinterpretations that are driven by shallow characters with no strong motivations (in addition to having a unique level of boredom, which makes everything even more frustrating).
There is so much effort in the script to want to show characters with believable motivations that the movie makes the mistake of turning around itself... But in this case, it gets nowhere on the podium (it can't even cross the finish line) and even if it looks appealing when trying to put cars as main characters and explore various famous locations that surround this sport, it failure to show all the excitement that slips down the track, because almost everything is too vague.
A considerable part of this narrative failure can be attributed to director Renny Harlin, who despite apparent efforts to offer an immersive experience to the public (with some very good camera angles and an electrifying soundtrack) within the racing world... Forget that this is a movie and not just an exhibition of cars / brands, parties and car adventures. Therefore, to the detriment of the essential elements to make the movie gain consistency, he opts for the obvious and creates a major flaw.
Although well intentioned and having its good times spread across several scenes, there is no way to say that this movie is - in fact - efficient. At the end of the day, Driven can be nothing more than just entertainment that bets on the line of cognitive emotion that can be established with Formula 1 racing lovers.
MY RATING: A (5,0/10)