I did this illustration for NERD’s review of Only God Forgives (written by someone else entirely).
I was a huge fan of Drive and was completely riled up by this fantastic trailer, so I went into this movie expecting to love it. Unfortunately, I found it a bit disappointing. It’s hard to avoid comparing it to Drive, since it follows the same format so strongly: intense, relentless color schemes; Ryan Gosling as the laconic, socially awkward, violent protagonist; switching between artfully shot action and exploring Ryan Gosling’s relationship with Female Character. My main issue with Only God Forgives is that the choice for the villain to mirror the protagonist’s silent, stone-faced schtick was exhausting for the audience. It left me looking for some sort of human character to lean on (like Carey Mulligan in Drive), but all the film provided was the mother, who IMO was way overdone. That being said, I liked the visuals quite a bit and I’m a sucker for a story that can make you sympathize with characters on the unsavory side of a moral grey area, so it wasn’t all bad.