If you were to ask me which film I believe really needs to be re-scored… I probably wouldn’t know, because I very rarely remember the music from films.
That being said, I could tell you some films that really don’t need to be re-scored. Some soundtracks compliment the film so perfectly that you just can’t help but remember them. Unfortunately for Zane Lowe, Drive has one of those soundtracks.
Now, I’m not a purist who believes that a film is sacred and should not be tweaked, so I gave this re-score a chance – but I won’t deny I went in expecting it to be total shit. Let’s be real, it’s a re-score curated by a BBC radio DJ.
To be honest with you, for a good chunk of the film, the new soundtrack fitted quite well. There were certain scenes where, if you hadn’t told me this was a re-score, I probably wouldn’t have guessed. The only parts which really took me out of the experience, were arguably the most important: the first and last 20 minutes.
Drive‘s opening scene is spectacular. After watching this re-score, I’m certain that the soundtrack is the sole reason for that. Don’t get me wrong, the re-scored scene was still decent, but it just didn’t have the same impact, rhythm or tension of the original. Had I never seen Drive before, I’d probably enjoy this scene a lot, but the diversion from the original just left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Likewise, the omission of Night Call in the opening credits just felt… wrong. Sure, “Chvrches – Get Away” might work perfectly alongside the intro, but it’s not what I’m used to, so I can’t look at it objectively.
Ultimately I think that’s the biggest problem with this re-score – it’s different. That might sound redundant as hell, but that’s the reason I believe this is getting panned. When fans of Drive watch Drive, they have certain expectations of what’s going to happen, and how it’s going to happen. When something deviates from that, for better or worse, it takes you out of the experience.
Think about it this way, imagine if somebody re-cut Drive, but replaced Ryan Gosling with Gary Busey.
Even if Busey‘s performance was spectacular, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate it, because it wouldn’t be what we know as Drive. It would be a cheap imposter wearing Drive‘s face.
For me, that is the reason this fails. While some of the tracks definitely don’t have the impact of the original, the real nail in this re-scores coffin is that it’s different. Drive‘s original soundtrack was perfect, and in the end this re-score feels like nothing but an exercise in futility. I commend the artists for the work they put into this, but next time I would suggest picking a film with a crappier soundtrack.
Now… I’ve got a film to write…
You can watch the re-scored version of Drive here, for a limited time.