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Review: Driven – “A fun film with an interesting story”

Driven takes a comedic, sensationalist approach to the true story of John DeLorean caught in an FBI sting for drug trafficking by informant Jim Hoffman; likely to annoy historians it is still a fun film regardless of its factual inaccuracies. Watching the rise and fall of the iconic DeLorean car from the intimate setting of the suburbs strikes a more personal tone, roughly cut against the drama as it happens keeps the film charming rather than spoilt.

The film begins with Hoffman placed in a safe house by the FBI after he agrees to be an informant when caught carrying drugs on his plane – the safe house just happens to be across from John DeLorean and the two neighbours build a relationship. Starring Jason Sudeikis as Jim Hoffman and Lee Pace as John DeLorean, the pair make a charming duo, Hoffman is portrayed as a salt of the earth type of guy while John is the brilliant but cocky technician.

It is amazing how much of the film falls to Jason Sudeikis’ comedic timing to give the film the drive and tone it strives for, delivering some of the best jokes from the film with nothing but a dodgy moustache for support. Flanked by Corey Stoll and Judy Greer the film has many funny moments, keeping it light throughout, however, it’s not as funny as it could be and lacks the innovative touches that have come from more recent factual comedies like The Big Short or The Wolf of Wall Street. There also instances where the audio is slightly off; robbing a key scene of its dramatic weight and making the film feel amateur as a result.

As Hoffman fails to get any information for the FBI his eyes turn to John and he cooks up a plan to involve him with drug supplier Morgan Hetrick (Michael Cudlitz). Which his wife (Judy Greer) chastises furiously, Greer is wonderful at being the simultaneously cynical yet besotted wife. John becomes even keener when he realises his company is on the verge of bankruptcy, citing the workers in Ireland at risk of losing their jobs as his reason for entertaining the idea of buying drugs.

Driven has an earnest cast that is let down by the amateur unpolished nature of the film. There are times when the effort on-screen far surpasses the talent behind the camera, perhaps Hollywood has spoilt me in what I expect from camera angles and clever editing, but the film feels flat without it. This is still a fun film with an interesting story and characters including one of the most iconic cars in cinema history.

Driven is in UK cinemas and digital on 8th November 2018.

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