‘Driven’ Overview: California Scheming – The New York Occasions
Someplace deep inside “Driven” — Nick Hamm’s based-on-real-life crime caper — lies an enchanting film. We catch glimpses at any time when Lee Tempo, enjoying the car entrepreneur John DeLorean, gilds his ho-hum dialogue in surprising layers of foreboding. And we hear it crackling by way of the F.B.I. sting operation that might result in DeLorean’s 1984 trial for drug trafficking. To make that film, although, would have required a much less glib tone and an infinitely extra targeted script.
Hamm’s first mistake was to spin his classic cars-and-cocaine story across the extra shallow and fewer compelling of his two leads, a slippery criminal named Jim Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis). Caught smuggling a planeload of coke, Jim turns into a reluctant informant for the F.B.I. Across the identical time, he and his oblivious spouse (a perky Judy Greer) additionally befriend DeLorean, a California neighbor whose fledgling firm is experiencing cash-flow issues round his famously winged, stainless-steel automotive. Perhaps Jim and his sleazy provider, Morgan (Michael Cudlitz), can assist?
Filmed in Puerto Rico by way of the ravages of Hurricane Maria, “Driven” is a good-natured, divertingly jolly mess. Sudeikis does likable schlub with the perfect, but it surely’s Tempo, magnetic and mysterious, who tugs at our consideration. As he confirmed in the underloved AMC drama “Halt and Catch Fire,” he excels at enjoying charismatic visionaries whose goals will be their undoing. His capacity to convey advanced feelings with absolute stillness lends his DeLorean an aura of tragedy that deepens and darkens the film’s confectionary colours.
It’s all of the extra baffling, then, that his most notable movie roles thus far have been enjoying an elf and an intergalactic villain. There’s a film star beneath these shovelsful of make-up, if solely Hollywood would let him out.
Rated R. Operating time: 1 hour 48 minutes.