Most of us don’t get to choose which way we meet our maker. We all hope it ain’t like these poor bloody bastards.
Up until this point in the movie, we’d only seen Driver (Ryan Gosling, doing his best stoic Ryan O’Neil from The Driver) demonstrate the assurance of his skill set behind the wheel. And stare. A lot. He also did threaten some dude getting nostalgic in a diner. Aside from that, Driver comes across as semi-catatonic to the point we have to wonder, What’s with this guy?
That all changes toot sweet when two button men come calling at the No Tell Motel Driver and Blanche (Christina Hendricks, going from redhead to bled head) are holed up in. Thing go crimson all over the moment Blanche receives a Hemingway haircut via the riot gun fired through the bathroom window by the Old Pro lurking outside. It’s definitely a harbinger for the way the rest of the violence just erupts not just in the motel room, but throughout the rest of the picture.
Perhaps what’s best about the scene is when Driver has his back against the wall, literally and figuratively, as he’s got the Old Pro coming through the bathroom window on his right while on his left, the Young Buck is shove past the mattress propped against the door. That’s when, for the first time, we’re able to get past the stoic mask and Gosling gives a glimpse into a man with only moments to spare and no time to hesitate.
By the time Driver makes short work of the two would-be assassins and he’s standing in the bathroom doorway, stoic mask done up in the scarlet, peering through the gun smoke at the havoc wrecked by his handiwork, we still wonder – but in an entirely different way, What’s with this guy?