Genre(s): Suspense, Drama
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 117 min. – $19.98 | June 11, 2013
Directed by: Renny Harlin
Writer(s): Jan Skrentny & Neal Tabachnick (story), Sylvester Stallone (screenplay)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue, Til Schweiger, Gina Gershon, Estella Warren, Cristian de la Fuente, Robert Sean Leonard
Theatrical Release Date: April 27, 2001
Features: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 34.9 GB\
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 2.25/5
Plot Outline: Talented veteran driver Joe Tanto (SYLVESTER STALLONE) confronts the lost potential of his past when called out of retirement by an old friend (BURT REYNOLDS) to mentor a talented by unfocused rookie contender (KIP PARDUE), whose destructive behavior includes pursuing the girlfriend (ESTELLA WARREN) of his primary racing rival (TIL SCHWEIGER).
Quick Hit Review: Driven is an overly dramatic racing film featuring horrid performances and soap opera-like drama. It’s quite astonishing the screenplay was written by Sylvester Stallone who also penned Rocky. Anyway, I actually saw this movie in theaters back in 2001 and didn’t think much about it then and it’s actually gotten worse in the decade plus since. In fact, unless you see the cover in stores, you might’ve forgotten its existence… Still, and in fairness, the racing sequences are well filmed – even if the CGI is a bit iffy – so it’s not a complete waste, it’s just unfortunate there’s 95-minutes of other crap to get through.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
Audio Commentary – Director Renny Harlin provides a commentary covering various aspects of filming from locations, the cast, etc. It’s nothing special and an extra participant would’ve been helpful.
The Making of Driven (15:04; SD) – This featurette takes viewers behind-the-scenes showing how the movie was made. It’s more of a promotional feature so it’s pretty mundane in terms of interesting information.
Conquering Speed Through Live Action and Visual Effects (9:56; SD) shows the merging of the two and how it all came together.
Deleted Scenes (51:54; SD) – There are 12 scenes that got the axe or were cut down. There’s also a set of scenes with a commentary by Stallone.
Theatrical Trailer (1:20; HD)
VIDEO – 3.75/5
Driven races onto Blu-ray presented with a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) and a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. The movie doesn’t look too bad in HD but it hardly has the pop or brilliant colors expected from the format. While the detail levels are decent enough, there are some sizeable amounts of noise. This transfer, while not bad and surely better than the DVD release, isn’t anything impressive, just more on the above average range.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track fairs a bit better showcasing the film’s numerous racing scenes as well as the score from BT. While comparatively to other films released around the same time it doesn’t quite measure up, it’s still a fine lossless track which, for any fans of the movie, will appreciate.
OVERALL – 2.75/5
Overall, Driven is an overly dramatic, poorly acted melodrama that never really hits its stride. In 2001 when the movie was released, Sylvester Stallone was still in a funk, aside from Cop Land. The Blu-ray released by Warner does have respectable audio/video transfers and ports over all the bonus features even if they’re superficial.