An indescribably insipid Indian heist thriller with virtually no redeeming qualities, this is genre filmmaking at its absolute worst.
Tarun Mansukhani’s Drive has nothing at all to do with the same-titled Nicholas Winding Refn masterpiece from 2011, but a comparison to even a much worse movie wouldn’t do it any favors. Released straight onto Netflix today by Dharma Productions, the first of that company’s films to ever be given such a low-key treatment, it immediately joins the list of confoundingly bad Indian originals like Brij Mohan Amar Rahe and Chopsticks. And it absolutely deserves to be ostracised with a digital-only release, because it’s appalling.
Artlessly — and often ridiculously — mashing together a handful of tropes from much better movies in the heist and street-racing genres, Drive is an embarrassingly incompetent knock-off helmed by an exhausted-looking Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez. It’s running on fumes from the word go and only gets worse from there — a car crash lasting just under two hours, every second of which would have been better spent doing literally anything else.
The particulars of the plot — it involves a major heist at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, criminal gangs, and undercover agents — are unimportant in the face of the film’s rampant stupidity. It’s a disaster without a single redeeming feature that will hopefully remain buried in Netflix’s thumbnails beneath countless films more deserving of an audience.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.