In Drive, the hypnotic new thriller from Bronson and Valhalla Rising director Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling remains preternaturally calm even as he stomps a mobster’s flunky to a bloody pulp. Rarely does his voice rise above a whisper, much less betray any emotion. He is the essence of cool, breaking a sweat only when his passions boil over in short, shocking outbursts. We all go a little mad sometimes.
Having joined the ranks of today’s most promising young directors after first crafting music videos for Morrissey and Dionne Farris, Zack Snyder has skillfully married his passion for song with his inclination to grandiose cinema.
Whether thrusting us into a world on the brink of apocalypse against the haunting strains of Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” in Dawn of the Dead (2004), or opening his adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen (2009) with a condensed century of superhero history backed by Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” Snyder has a Midas touch in the soundtrack department.