Review: OVERDRIVE (2017) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Review: OVERDRIVE (2017)

Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp play two half-brother car thieves in OVERDRIVE (2017)

OVERDRIVE follows two half-brothers, Andrew (Scott Eastwood) and Garrett (Freddie Thorp), who are both car thieves caught stealing a vintage Bugatti from a big-time crime boss, Jacomo Morier (Simon Abkarian). In order to walk away alive, they made a deal with Morier by agreeing to steal the priceless Ferrari 250 GTO belongs to his rival, Max Klemp (Clemens Schick).

REVIEW: With TAKEN director Pierre Morel served as one of the producers and a potentially exciting premise that crosses between FAST AND FURIOUS and GONE IN 60 SECONDS, you would expect at least a decent B-movie fun. From the surface level, OVERDRIVE does fulfil its genre's criteria of employing a pair of good-looking leading men (Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp) and some eye candy (Ana de Armas and Gaia Weiss), as well as featuring a few sleek-looking vintage cars. The car action, in the meantime, is mostly staged with practical stunts and doesn't go overboard like the recent FAST AND FURIOUS series. In fact, the movie even gets off to a promising start with an opening sequence where Andrew and Garrett pull off a daring highway heist to steal a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 out of a moving truck.

Simon Abkarian plays the crime boss Jacomo Morrier in OVERDRIVE (2017)

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie fails to live up to its earlier promise. Among the biggest flaw of all is the insipid casting of Scott Eastwood. While he has the classic leading-man look like his famous father did back in his younger days, his acting is sadly bland and monotonous. His co-star, Freddie Thorp, is supposed to be a wisecracking partner. But his jokes often fall flat, in which he turns out more like an annoying grown-up brat trying to look cool and funny. Both Ana de Armas and Gaia Weiss are attractive, but that's all about them. The bad guys, played by Simon Abkarian and Clemens Schick, are nothing more than your usual standard-issue villains.

(L-R) Gais Weiss, Freddie Thorp, Ana de Armas and Scott Eastwood in OVERDRIVE (2017)

Then, there is the equally vapid plot. Although the movie only clocks at an economical 96 minutes, the pace feels sluggish. Screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, WANTED) waste too much time on going around the circles with poor characters developments between Andrew, Garrett and Stephanie. The male bonding between Andrew and Garrett feel tacky, while the ongoing romance between Andrew and Stephanie barely ignite some necessary sparks. The story doesn't even bother to develop the rest of the supporting characters when the trio starts recruiting a team to help their mission. So, if you are expecting a FAST AND FURIOUS-like strong teamwork, this is not the movie.

By the time OVERDRIVE wraps up with a sudden twist, it hardly makes any difference. Even the climactic action, complete with a scene where Andrew sped his car across the falling bridge, doesn't exactly raises a pulse.

After a promising start, OVERDRIVE quickly died down with overall flat performances, bland characters developments and a time-wasting storyline.

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