Review: DRIVEN Spins Its Wheels


Though it has an interesting story and a solid cast, Driven ultimately isn't that interesting because it lacks humor and pacing.
Technical Merit

Driven, written by Colin Bateman and directed by Nick Hamm, is a new crime drama that hopes to capitalize on the recent success of other similar “so crazy it HAS to be true” stories. However, unlike those other films, Driven largely fails because it lacks a sense of humor (even despite having a great comedian in the lead role).

This movie follows a drug smuggler who, after being caught by the FBI and being forced to work as an informant, involves the failing automotive “genius” John DeLorean in a drug deal, ultimately leading to the downfall of the DeLorean Motor Company. Already chronicled in the meta-documentary Framing John DeLorean that came out earlier this year, this story is undeniably insane — if only it were told in a way that was interesting.

The biggest issue with Driven is that it is unable to keep your interest. Unlike similar films such as the Tom Cruise-starring American Made, Bateman’s script is completely devoid of any sense of lightness or playfulness. As such, we are left watching a straight-faced caper movie at which we can’t help but think we are supposed to laugh, but there just aren’t many jokes (and many of the jokes that are there fall flat).

Additionally, the film takes far too long to get started, and by the time it does get started, you may already be checked out of the story. There are some great moments throughout, but those bits are spread throughout a bunch of material that didn’t really need to be seen. Had the story been streamlined a bit, this would have made an excellent hour-and-a-half-long movie. As is, it’s a mediocre two-hour film.

driven arches
(L-R) Lee Pace as John DeLorean and Jason Sudeikis as Jim Hoffman
in Universal Pictures Content Group’s crime-thriller comedy DRIVEN. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures Content Group.

Another mistake that the movie made was featuring the informant as the protagonist as opposed to DeLorean. Even though the informant is an everyday guy with whom the audience may be able to identify more easily, DeLorean is a far more well-known and interesting figure. Although the purpose of this seems to be to play off of the mysterious elements of his personality, a switch in the perspective of the film would have gone a long way to make the movie more entertaining.

Lee Pace does a good job as the car mogul, although the makeup and hairstyling for him is horrendous — the wig and eyebrows are distractingly fake. Yet he almost sells the character because of his ability to capture the figure’s arrogant personality, especially during scenes in which he is behaving competitively. Pace has great chemistry with Jason Sudekis, the other lead, although Sudekis feels criminally underused in a bland role.

The film also lacks the visual style that could have made the movie feel more authentic. Apart from a solid soundtrack and decent production design and costuming, very little is done to make you feel like you are back in the 1980’s. A bit more flair in terms of the cinematography and editing really could have helped catch the eye and maintain the audience’s attention.

Driven had the potential to be another great true crime comedy — the story and the talent in front of the camera are there — it just didn’t result in a film that was as entertaining as it should have been. Maybe one day someone will make a television show that will do the DeLorean story justice.

Driven is in theaters and on digital/VOD on August 16.


Free State of Jones | Watch Now | FX

Watch the official trailer for Free State of Jones. A Southern farmer opposed to slavery and secession abandons his post during the Civil War only to find Confederate soldiers stealing the food and property of the already suffering locals. Watch it today on FXNOW. Subscribe to FX: See More of FXM: FXM (formerly…

Legacies | Squad | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream new episodes of Legacies Fridays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About LEGACIES: The show centers around Hope Mikaelson, the vampire-witch-werewolf hybrid daughter of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Klaus Mikaelson, and her time at a school for the supernatural called The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Connect with LEGACIES online:…

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 10 | Official Teaser | HBO

The wait is (almost) over. Curb Your Enthusiasm returns this January. #CurbYourEnthusiasm #HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Don’t have HBO? Order Now: Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: Like on Facebook: Follow on Twitter: Like on Instagram: Official Site: Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 10 |…

Modern Love’s Perfect Score | Prime Video

This is music to our ears. How each Modern Love episode was connected by a single song. » Watch Modern Love now exclusively with your Prime Membership: » SUBSCRIBE: About Modern Love: An unlikely friendship. A lost love resurfaced. A marriage at its turning point. A date that might not have been a…

Come Home to Hulu for Only $1.99/month.*

DEAL. OF. THE. YEAR. Hulu is only $1.99/month.* Come home to the TV you love. But hurry – like your leftover turkey, this deal will be finished Monday. Learn more at SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: START YOUR FREE…

The Irishman’s Jesse Plemons on Working With Scorsese | Netflix

Jesse Plemons, who plays Chuckie O'Brien in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, reflects on his first time meeting the director and the first Scorsese movie he saw. Watch The Irishman, on the big screen and on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships…

Lost in Space Season 2 | Final Official Trailer | Netflix

The Robinsons are back... but have you seen our Robot? Lost in Space Season 2 returns December 24th, only on Netflix. Watch Lost In Space (S02), Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series,…

Umbre (Shadows): Season 2 | Official Trailer | HBO

Season two of UMBRE (SHADOWS) continues to follow Relu as he’s made a deal with the head of a rival mafia organization: kill his boss the Captain in order to protect his family. Now Relu’s daughter is married to the Captain’s son. Will he able to keep his promise, and what consequences will his decision…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here