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Overdrive Review

Overdrive is a 2017 action, thriller about two car thief brothers, who journey to the south of France for new opportunities, winding up in the cross hairs of the local crime boss.

I’ll get the obvious right out of the way. Yes, this is a Fast & Furious wannabe because of course it is, and why not join a collection of studios who are capitalizing on that franchise’s huge success? Antonio Negret‘s Overdrive is a loud, goofy and stylistic thriller that knows exactly what it wants to be and goes at it like its racing for a cliff with a bomb in the trunk. 

Andrew (Scott Eastwood) and Garrett (Freddie Thorp) are brothers, or as we’re told often, step-brothers, and they love classic cars. Or more accurately, stealing them. They are quite good at it, even if a bit reckless, but their latest gig gets them in a bit of a spot, unknowingly stealing a forty million dollar Bugatti from a ruthless French mobster named Jacomo Morier (Simon Abkarian). Under threat of death, the brothers work out a deal to steal a prized automobile from a competitor and only a week to do it. It’s a huge job and so they need a crew to pull it off, bringing in their gal pals (Ana de ArmasGaia Weiss) to get it done. Time to kick into, well, overdrive, and go to work.

Taking a more humorous tone than the popular Vin Diesel series, Overdrive doles out all the standards of the genre, including expensive, exotic cars, beautiful exotic women and lots of silly action. Heck, it even has Eastwood, who has a bit part in the last Furious film. Fortunately, if you’re able to get past the parallels, there’s a lot to get excited about if you’re also a fan of these kinds of feisty car movies, which all take a bow to the original The Italian Job (1969). It puts a lot of effort into the tropes, setting up the sting, building a team, assembling hurdles, and well, you know the drill. You’re not gonna find any surprises here, but at least Negret seems to know this and so instead does all he can to entertain, throwing everything he can to go as big as his budget might. What’s perhaps most impressive is how most of it is practical and if you’re a junkie for such, should be some fun.

Eastwood doesn’t quite have the presence of Diesel or Dwayne Johnson, but along with Thorp, makes for a funny and energetic duo. This is arguably his best work to date. Then there’s De Armas, whose earning acclaim for her work in Blade Runner 2049 and is surely about to have a number of bigger doors open for her. She’s got a pretty substantial role here and for her growing fans, won’t disappoint.

So what we have here is a pretty standard action film, with not much really separating it from the rest of the quickly burgeoning pack. Still, films like this aren’t looking to reset the genre. A good story and even better car action, especially in the last act, give Overdrive just enough momentum to give a recommendation.

Overdrive Review

Movie description: Overdrive is a 2017 action, thriller about two car thief brothers, who journey to the south of France for new opportunities, winding up in the cross hairs of the local crime boss.

Director(s): Antonio Negret

Actor(s): Ana de Armas, Scott Eastwood, Gaia Weiss

Genre: Action

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