Hey Gasmii, oh man, oh man, do we have a crap movie to talk about this time. We’ve got more then anyone has a right to ask for when it comes to crap. We’ve got a movie directed by the guy whose wikipedia page says he pretty much trashed Gina Davis’s movie career all by himself. We’ve got a script from the pen of Sly Stallone, acting by Sly Stallone, guys fighting over a chinless woman, the nicest guy on House strapping on a Johnny Cash suit and acting like a complete butthead for 105 minutes. Oh and there is Burt Reynolds’ face in this movie, and well, mere words are never going be able to describe it, so come on and make the jump and let’s take a look the 2001 release Driven.
I’m sorry, words fail me.
Auto racing is a sport. Sure, you might not think so, because it involves sitting on one’s duff for hours at time, and raping the ecosystem, but they wear special shoes, which makes it just as much of a sport as football, baseball, and stripping. Yeah, that’s a pretty shaky argument, but in this case we are going to go with it, because if auto racing is a sport, then this is a sports movie, and that means we can have unseen sports’ announcers feed us mounds and mounds of exposition, and that’s just what happens as the opening credits roll.
We find out there is some German dude who is like really super duper good at sitting on his duff and driving really fast. Oh and there is young guy who is also super duper good at sitting down, and he starts winning races and it looks like he might beat the German, and win the sitting on your duff while going really fast championship. The only thing though is that when we get to the part in the credits where we find out who the executive producers were, the young guy is starting to screw up, and it looks like the German dude might win that speedy duff championship after all.
This leads right into the first scene in the movie, where the young guy is at some publicity thing with his brother. Holy crap, the brother is Wilson from House, yay! Wilson’s always so nice on House, so you just know he’ going to be nice here, right? Err, not really. Actually he’s doing all sorts of mean terrible things to his brother, which mainly consists of making his brother stand in a room in his sitting on his duff suit, and getting his butt squeezed by an army of hot young girls.
Okay, as far as mean terrible things go, that doesn’t really rate high on anyone’s list, but remember Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for this movie, and he also wrote Rocky, and gave Angie Everheart breast implants that she later returned to him, which does nothing to support my point, but for some reason I find this fact fascinating, so I keep bringing it up. Anyway, it’s in the script so are going to go with it, and think it’s horrible too.
We move ahead to race day, and stop in to see what German Dude is up to, and he’s breaking up with his fiancÃ©. She’s getting all boo-hooey and wants to know why they are taking a trip to Dumpsville. I’ve got my money on her weak chin, but German Dude tells her she’s distracting him from sitting on his duff and going really fast. He then puts on his racing suit and walks off to find a place to be non-distracted.
Would it be mean if I said the only way this girl could play a violin would be if she stuck it in her mouth? Really? Well that doesn’t make it any less true
Okay, it was kind of a dick move by German Dude, but it seems to be paying off, because when we cut to later in the race he’s winning. The young guy is doing okay too, and eventually ends up in second place right behind German Dude. We also find out that his brother, the evil Anti-Wilson has told the young guy that if he doesn’t win the race, everyone is going to think the young guy is a Losey McLoser.
We know the young guy is trying really hard to win, because he starts wheezing into the radio that Burt Reynolds and the evil Anti-Wilson use to yell at him during the race. Of course, because he isn’t peddling his car like Fred Flintstone, this wheezing is a sign of an impending choke job by the young guy, and right at the end of the race, when he tries to pass German Dude, he ends up spinning out, and German Dude wins!
Yay German Dude! It’s always good to see the Germans do well at something that doesn’t involve genocide, or being the biggest person in a Speedo on a beach.
Oh and just in case we missed the metaphor of young guy losing control of his car, and how he is losing control of his life, the handy dandy announcers say “he’s losing control, control, control…” Yeah, the screenwriter is pretty much clubbing us over the head here, but I mentioned there is a pretty good chance that Sly has a pair of slightly used breast implants somewhere in his house, right? Sorry, I’ll stay more focused for the rest of the post. Honest, no fooling, quit making that face.
Back to the movie, and Burt Reynolds isn’t going to take this bullstuff sitting down, well actually he is, because his character is in a wheelchair, but that’s not important right now. Burt Reynolds tells this husky guy to call Joe Tanto.
It turns out Joe Tanto is what they call Sylvester Stallone in this movie, well seeing as Sly wrote the movie, it’s what he calls him, but we’re going to call him Sylvester Stallone, because it’s just easier to remember him that way.
Anyway, Burt Reynolds, who also has a name in this movie we aren’t going to pay any attention to, hires Sylvester Stallone to come and provide some much needed guidance to Wheezy McLoserface, because Sly was supposedly really good at sitting on his duff and going fast, before he started sucking at it. Sly’s not too happy to hear about this, because he was all set to show everyone he still can sit on, his duff and go really fast, but Burt Reynolds is like tough beans, I was staring in Gator when you were making porn films, so we are doing it my way.
So when you get right down to it, this movie is just like Bull Durham, only without the laughs, Tim Robbins throwing like a girl, and this one has a girl without a chin as opposed to Susan Sarandon’s Marty Feldman eyes. Oh and this one has cars too, sorry I keep forgetting that part.
Anyway, Sly gets called up to the bigs, and wanders around the race track for awhile until he runs into his old buddy German Dude. Only it turns out Sly and German Dude’s friendship is a little one sided. German Dude can seem to get past Sly “almost getting him killed.” Seeing as German Dude is the citizen of a country that managed to invade Belgium twice in 25 year period, I think he might want to try letting bygones stay bygones.
Then again, when Chinless comes wandering by, Sly makes a big deal about inviting her over and going on and on about what a great couple she and German Dude are, and just makes it super awkward for everyone there. Chinless gets flustered and exits stage left, and German Dude calls Sly a dumkopf one more time, just for old time’s sake.
With that out of the way, Sly gets to get in a little practice at duff sitting. Wheezy McLoserface comes out to watch, and we get to find out that Sly is pretty badass at the sitting on his duff and going real fast, when we see him pick up three quarters with the back tire of his car on a practice lap.
Although, to be fair, Gina Gershon, who is also in this movie, picked up three quarters in Showgirls with her…you know what? I’m not even going to go there.
Wheezy McLoserface is pretty impressed by this, but when Sly tries to get Wheezy alone to give him some advice on not sucking so bad, Sly gets totally cock blocked by the anti-Wilson.
“You’re 5’10″? That’s not in the metric system, right?”
Yeah, it turns out that unless you’re a hot girl who is going to squeeze Wheezy’s butt, the anti-Wilson doesn’t want you talking to his brother. Just to make sure I’m not getting confused, he’s the bad guy in this movie right?
We cut to later that night, and we get two scenes. First we see Wheezy McLoserface sitting in some club, where he just happens to run into Chinless. Wheezy tells Chinless he thinks it’s terrible that she and German Dude broke up.
Do you know what I think is terrible? The fact that German Dude broke up with Chinless in another country, and yet she is still around. That’s a lack of respect by the screenwriter. It’s almost as if Sly knows I paid to see Cobra in the theater, twice.
Chinless makes a token defense that she’s not looking to hook up, and Wheezy swears he just wants to be friends. They then exit stage right, so Wheezy can jump on her belly in the most friendly way possible.
While that is going on, Sylvester Stallone is out shooting pool with his love interest for the movie, this woman reporter who just happens to be doing a story on Sly’s racing team. From an exposition standpoint, she is Sly’s dream girl.
For example, thanks to Woman Reporter we find out in this scene, that back in the day, when Sly was the bestest at sitting on his duff and going real fast, he was a party hardy dude person animal, and when he cleaned up his act, that’s when his wife, Gina Gershon, dumped for a younger, better looking driver who doesn’t suck, and who also happened to be Sly’s friend.
Not only do we in the audience get all this important information, but this gives Sly the chance to make a sad face and tell Woman Reporter he would like it, if instead of forming opinion about Sly from what other people have said, she got to know Sly for herself. Oh, Sly mentions he’d also really, really like it if she didn’t ask how come when Sly’s in his cowboy boots he’s the same height as everyone else in the movie, but when he wears those racing shoes he starts looking like Webster. Woman Reporter agrees, and love is in the air for everybody.
It’s race time and things are going pretty good for our heroes. Wheezy McLoserface has actually managed to pass German Dude, and is winning the race. Too bad this is right when Wheezy starts sounding like an asthma commercial over the radio again.
Wheezy looks really shaky and it’s only a matter of time before German Dude passes him again, but then something wonderful happens. That wonderful thing is that Burt Reynolds has a plan. He sends Sylvester Stallone into the pits, and right Wheezy and German Dude come around to start the last lap, Burt has Sly come back into the race and cut off German Dude so he can’t pass. It’s kind of a cheap trick, but a win’s a win. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Man, Burt Reynolds is awesome at almost cheating at auto racing. He’s totally the guy I’d want running my racing team. Planning my canoe trip? Eh, not so much.
Still, let’s give the guy his due. Almost 40 years later, and still the badest guy in the canoe
With the race out of the way, we can get another big belly full of plot points to keep this movie chugging along.
The anti-Wilson is in a pretty good mood because his Wheezy brother just won another race, and if Wheezy can actually win the championship, then anti-Wilson can get his hands on all that sweet, sweet endorsement money.
Anti-Wilson spreading this fun fact gives Chinless the chance to imply he’s a mercenary nut sack, which might have looked like a bitch maneuver, if Anti-Wilson hadn’t of spent most of his time before the race calling Chinless a whore. Whatevers, the important thing is reminding Wheezy about the championship, gives the kid the chance to work on a fresh coat of flop sweat.
We head off to Japan, and while German Dude is running laps, which only makes sense as a training activity if he is planning on abandoning his car, and showing those girly men in the race who the real ubermench is. Sylvester Stallone stops by with a little unsolicited love advice for GD. Sly tells German Dude that he needs to do whatever it takes to get Chinless back, because who wouldn’t want a wife whose turtleneck hits her right below the nose?
“5’10″? What about when you aren’t in the cowboy boots?”
German Dude isn’t big on the whole idea of expressing emotion. Oh come on German Dude, are you riddled with Botox like Burt Reynolds? No? Then your face won’t crack, give it a whirl.
We cut to later that night, and Woman Reporter is out on the town with Sly to feed us more exposition. She tells Sly that Burt Reynolds likes Sly way more then Wheezy, which is way more satisfying then a scene between Burt Reynolds and Sylvester Stallone showing us this information. Okay, it’s not, but between the fake tan that makes him look like an official NBA basketball and the fact the Phantom of the Opera has a greater range of facial expressions then him, Burt Reynolds is starting to scare me at this point in the movie, so this works for me.
We then get to see German Dude run more laps while Wheezy and Chinless go out to hit some night clubs. Well Chinless gets to hang out the bar alone, because Wheezy has to go splash water on his face because the pressure of choosing whether he wanted a cosmo or an appletini was just too much for him. I’m starting to think German Dude can strap his car to his back and beat Wheezy in a race.
The face of a winner?
We go to the next day, and I’m starting to look pretty smart, or like somebody who thanks to HBO has seen this movie about eight times in the last two weeks, because even though Wheezy is in the lead we can already tell he’s screwed. How do we know this? Well for starters, it’s sounding like an obscene phone call over the radio again.
Sure enough Wheezy isn’t able to hold off the super slick move German Dude uses to pass him. By the way, German Dude’s super slick move consists of German Dude pulling along side Wheezy, and then flooring it.
Everyone is telling Wheezy not to panic, because all he has to do is pull off his own super slick move and he can be the big weiner. So Wheezy gets along side of German Dude, and floors it. Too bad for Wheezy he decides to do this as he and German Dude start into a turn, and double too bad for him, because he neglects to turn the steering wheel, so he plows straight into the wall. Obviously, that super slick move is trickier then it looks.
The crash truck gets promptly out to Wheezy’s wreck, and he’s okay. Well, he’s still a big fat loser, but he didn’t get injured, so everyone is happy. And when I say everyone, I mean German Dude because he won the race and is back in the lead for winning the championship.
With that race over, everyone goes to Chicago for some big party where they are showing off a bunch of new race cars that everyone is going to be driving the next year, and dress up in tuxedos. Granted this sounds kind of boring, but German Dude gets Chinless alone, and tells her that he misses her, and his upper lip quivers a little bit. Chinless must be a sucker for quivering upper lips, because she tells German Dude that she misses him too, and just like that, they are back together.
Wheezy McLoserface handles this plot development the way any mature, responsible adult would; he hops into one of those new race cars and goes tearing off into the city. Naturally, Sly goes off after him because he really cares about Wheezy, and also it’s a great excuse to get a scene into the movie where the stars drive around in a big city going close to 200 miles per hour.
So after a couple of minutes of making bus stops explode (suck it public transportation!), watching manhole covers go flying, and blowing up a blonde chick’s skirt way past her hinder, Sly is able to get Wheezy to pull over and make the big speech.
Sly tells Wheezy that he is losing because he can’t deal with the stress of being a winner, and he needs to stop thinking all the time and just go really fast. Oh and turn every once in a while so he doesn’t crash into the wall again, that part is really important too.
Well this little talk seems to be just what Wheezy needed to hear, because we get a montage where he and Sly are talking all the time, and he’s getting along with everyone on the racing team and everything is great.
Well not for the Anti-Wilson, he’s got a huge problem with Wheezy talking to other people because he and Wheezy are a team. Anti-Wilson acts like a douche and Wheezy gets his butt squeezed, who could have a problem with that? Wheezy tries to let his stalky brother down easy, but the Anti-Wilson stomps off to pick out a new black suit to wear.
So, everything is going pretty good, which in real life is what everyone is shooting for. Too bad this is a movie, so Burt Reynolds decides to let Sylvester Stallone know that if Wheezy doesn’t win his next race Burt is going to poop can him and Sly. Oh and just to ramp up that dramatic tension, Burt tells Sly he’s not going to race this week, and instead Burt is going to use that guy Gina Gershon is married to now.
We go to the next race, which just happens to be held in Germany, and before the race Burt Reynolds tells Gina Gershon’s new husband (who is still friends with Sly, and is pretty much the nicest guy in the world) that his job is to drive slow in front of anyone who might be able to drive faster then Wheezy, and whatever he does, he’s not to try to win the race.
So we are getting down to the end of the race, and Wheezy is in second, right behind German Dude, and actually seems like he’s got a chance to win this race without Burt Reynolds and Sylvester Stallone pulling some monkeyshines. Too bad for Wheezy, Gina Gershon’s husband decides he can win the race and tries to pass Wheezy and German Dude. Everyone knows this is an incredibly dumb idea, except for Gina Gershon, but she also thought the hat she was wearing looks good, so I’m pretty sure she’s on the dope.
Gina Gershon’s husband almost passes Wheezy, but their tires touch and Gina Gershon’s husband loses control of his car and goes flying into the wall. Oh, but that’s not all, because after Gina Gershon’s husband’s car flies apart into a million pieces, it flies up like 30 or 40 feet in the air. Then, in super slow motion, the car comes down, and gets hit by another car, and gets shot into the infield of the track where it it bursts into flames and goes shooting through some trees into this little pond.
When this happens, Wheezy jams on his breaks, pulls off the track and heads back to rescue Gina Gershon’s husband. Chinless tells German Dude what Wheezy is doing, and he gets guilted into turning around too.
Wheezy’s the first person to get to the crash site, and things don’t look good for Gina Gershon’s husband. He’s pinned under his car, which is half underwater, the car is leaking fuel into the pond; and, thanks to the script saying so, some of the trees around the pond are on fire too.
By the time German Dude shows up, all Wheezy has managed to do is drop the car on his foot. German Dude is kind of chicken at first and doesn’t want to get incinerated when that car explodes, but Wheezy guilts German Dude into helping him.
They get Gina Gershon’s husband out of his car and pull him out of the pond right before the wreck explodes in a very nifty CGI fireball. The crash truck finally shows up, and everyone gets to go to the hospital.
When we get to the hospital, we find out Wheezy screwed up his foot and won’t be able to be in the last race, so he officially a big fat Loserface. Oh and Gina Gershon’s husband got paralyzed, and he’s so upbeat and plucky he makes everyone else really uncomfortable.
We go back to the race track, and this gives Burt Reynolds and Sylvester Stallone the perfect chance to have a big scene together. Burt Reynolds tells Sly, he’s firing Wheezy. Oh, and not only that, but he’s going to hire German Dude next season, and the Anti-Wilson is brokering the deal.
Sly wants to know why Burt Reynolds is being such a dickhead, and Burt goes on a long rambling speech about how he had to watch Sly turn into a Losey McLoserface back in the day, and it killed Burt Reynolds because he ended up in a wheelchair and would kill to race again. Then Burt tries to express anguish and his face almost slides completely off his skull.
Look, time out here, but I just need to get this off my chest concerning people in Hollywood and plastic surgery. Look, I know getting old sucks, because I get to deal with it every day just like every person over 40, but if you have enough elective surgery, no matter how well it’s done you’re eventually going to look like a wax figure. So my advice is deal with the wrinkles and hang on to your dignity. Anyway, that’s what I think, but my forehead looks like a road map, and my hairline is in the process of moving back to the back of my skull, and I have a 401K that consists of a two month supply of Top Ramen, so my opinion might be suspect here.
After this Sly is so upset he needs to do what all stars have to when things are at their darkest in the third act of a movie; he goes walking off into the rain.
We cut over to the hotel where Wheezy and the Anti-Wilson are staying, and Wheezy gets a phone call right as Anti-Wilson is heading out for the night. Wheezy catches up with Anti-Wilson right before he leaves, and they have it out over the Anti-Wilson brokering the deal that is going to end Wheezy’s racing career.
Wheezy naturally isn’t too happy, but the Anti-Wilson is still ticked that Wheezy actually started interacting with the human race on his own, and tells Wheezy he’s a super big fat loserface and the Anti-Wilson isn’t going down in flames with him. Man, maybe if Wheezy had just let young attractive girls keep honking his butt, this all could have been avoided?
We go to Detroit, where they are running the last race of the season. First we see the Anti-Wilson try to get German Dude to sign his new contract, but Chinless tells Anti-Wilson that the deal is off, and then in a classic case of chin envy, she punches Anti-Wilson right in the tater.
While that is going on, Sly and Wheezy get Burt Reynolds to let Wheezy race one more time. It’s not easy, first Burt Reynolds makes sure Wheezy can get out of the car in five seconds, and then to make sure Wheezy isn’t a Quity McQuiter any more, he makes him hop up and down on his bad foot ten times while singing Eastbound and Down. Okay, he doesn’t have him do that second part, but Burt was the man in Smoky and the Bandit.
The race starts and thanks to an early crash, Sly and Wheezy end up in last place together. Not that it matters, because they proceed to act like the perfect team and within a couple of minutes are right behind German Dude at the head of the pack.
Wheezy passes German Dude, yay! Everyone is super excited, and then Burt Reynolds screws everything up by reminding Wheezy he just needs to hang on for four more laps and he will be Winny McWinnerface, and Wheezy promptly gives the lead back to German Dude.
Well that’s it, and everyone is ready to bag it, and declare German Dude the champion. Well everyone but Sly. He decides to do a little of that bad ass driving he used to do so well, and passes Wheezy and German Dude.
Yay, Sly is going to win. Only he isn’t, because when he passed German Dude, he jumped his car over a corner and now his wheel is starting to come off.
The good news is that Wheezy can pass him and race neck and neck down the final straightaway with German Dude and beat him by thiiiiiiiiiis much. Wheezy Wins! Oh, and Sly spins around a bunch of times but doesn’t crash into a wall and comes in third.
With the race over, Wheezy is happy because he’s not a loserface anymore, well at least until the next race, but that’s not in the movie, so whatevers. German Dude is happy because he and Chinless are in luuuuuv, and Sly’s happy because he actually sold the script for this movie to a major studio. See, everyone’s a winner.
Then the race officials give Wheezy, German Dude, and Sly big phallic shaped bottles of champagne, which they shake up, hold at crouch level and spray foam all over each other, because that’s just what straight guys do when they are happy. The End.
Nope, nothing gay going on over here
Oh man, what a movie, and like everything from Hollywood, just full of important lessons. Such as if you want to get your chinless girlfriend back, quiver your upper lip, you should try to age gracefully, and if your brother is a world class D-bag, try steering him towards a career in oncology; you know, unless you don’t have a problem with young attractive girl’s squeezing your butt. Anyway, that’s what I took away from this movie. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll talk again soon.