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“Driven” Living in Overdrive

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

More of a drama than a comedy, the film Driven gets its title from a well-known auto designer who finds himself in deep trouble in this semi-biographical account. The story is based on true facts and if you ever wondered what happened to John DeLorean in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s to disgrace his name, here’s a cool way to find out.

The film opens with Jim Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis) as a witness for the Federal Government. It quickly flashes back to Hoffman landing his aircraft at Temecula Airport in California. He has his wife Ellen (Judy Greer) and two young children with him. As he exits the plane, Ben Tisa (Corey Stoll), Special Agent for the FBI approaches the airplane and orders his men to search it. Finding a shipment of many kilos of cocaine, Hoffman is taken to a room in the airport and questioned. During questioning Ben gets a phone call and releases Hoffman.

Jason Sudeikis as Jim Hoffman in Universal Pictures Content Group’s crime thriller comedy DRIVEN. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures Content Group

The scene switches to upscale Pauma Valley in Southern California 1977 and the Hoffman’s pull into their new home. The film quickly introduces their neighbors the DeLorean’s, John (Lee Pace) and Cristina (Isabel Arraiz) who welcome them to the neighborhood.

Thus begins a story of spying, dishonesty, danger and the collapse of one of the most remembered men in the auto industry. Director Nick Hamm movies his film along at a fast pace setting up the third act where everything comes together to show the real fall of the determined John DeLorean. It’s a fun way to get to the finale and his actors are perfect for the trip.

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.

While Jason Sudeikis is best known for his comedies like We’re the Millers, Horrible Bosses, and one of my favorites What Happens in Vegas, here he does add his brand of creating laughter, but we also get to see another side of the actor. I like the character he creates. As Jim Hoffman he’s serious in a witty kind of way, yet delivers a man who’s scared about being caught in the wringer of the Feds. He’s a father and a husband first and it shows that it, along with a pay day, is what drives him to cooperate.

Playing the part of DeLorean, look alike Lee Pace (Ronan in Captain Marvel) makes the perfect auto designer living the high life that’s been created by his past successes in the industry. He’s also a bit conceited, yet it’s his impulsiveness and gullible nature that gets him in trouble. Fame and fortune surrounds him, but it’s not enough to get him out of the hole he has dug.

Judy Greer as Ellen Hoffman and Isabel Arraiza as Cristina DeLorean in Universal Pictures Content Group’s crime thriller comedy DRIVEN. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures Content Group.

I must admit, that the film based on true events gets very Hollywood on its way to being entertainment. Although I laughed a bit and was intrigued by the plot, I also rather doubt that it all took place that way. But, recommending the film is easy as it’s exciting, compelling and addictive in a movie loving way.

Driven has been rated R for language throughout, some sexual references, drug use and brief nudity. You may want to stay for some of the credits to see comparative photos of the actors who portrayed the real DeLorean and Jim Hoffman. Plus, there’s notes on what happened in the aftermath of it all.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A nice production and fine acting makes Driven a good watch. (4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Erin Moriarty, Lee Pace, Judy Greer, Jason Sudeikis, Corey Stoll, Justin Bartha, Michael Cudlitz, Isabel Arraiza, Iddo Goldberg,
Directed by: Nick Hamm
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Comedy
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, some sexual references, drug use and brief nudity
Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.
Opening Date: August 16, 2019
Distributed by: Variance Films & Universal Pictures Content Group
Released in: Standard, Color

Driven is best seen in a movie theatre with no distractions, but can be viewed on digital and on demand where available.

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