The D.M.C. DeLorean car is an impressive automobile, one that reputation precedes it. Immortalised in the iconic film series, Back to the Future, but the legend behind its construction is a fascinating tale of ambition and decline, one that needs to be seen to be believed. In 2018, the true, yet outlandish story of the downfall of John DeLorean was dramatised in a feature film, known as Driven.
We follow a smuggler by the name of Hoffman, he is a thorn in the side of the enforcement agencies. After getting busted smuggling cocaine into the US, Hoffman agrees to become an informant and provide evidence on his boss. To secure immunity, Hoffman must go essentially undercover, posing as the next-door neighbour to the celebrated car designer John DeLorean, who keeps luring investors into his new venture. While the allure and promises peddled by DeLorean may be hiding some stark truths about the state of the product. Sensing an opportunity to secure a better deal, Hoffman begins earning the trust of John, while at the same time bringing in his shady contacts to orchestrate his downfall. As he tries to spin the hectic plates of his sticky situation, Hoffman’s actions could spell the end for John’s vision.
The key to Driven is in its casting, especially with the man behind the car himself. Lee Pace is impressive in his absorption of the fabled man, John DeLorean, a car-designing genius, who is an adept charmer and at crafting fables, even down to the very fibre of his being. The film wisely puts us in the shoes of Hoffman, an intriguing rogue, who would be more than enough for a film in his own right. Hoffman is played by Jason Sudeikis, and the same talents that made him such a draw in Saturday Night Live are certainly on display here and might come as a surprise if you’re used to him in Ted Lasso. They’re not the only recognisable names, with such stars like Judy Greer and Corey Stoll helping round out this larger than life comedy, with larger than life actors to bring it to life.
The actual events behind the downfall of the D.M.C. are the stuff of more than just legends, as such, it makes sense that some actions on the screen do feel heightened for this light-hearted look. Especially elements evolving Hoffman’s more criminal past and their attempts to inadvertently jeopardise Hoffman’s sting operation. It is like the wise words say, printing the legend is often better than the truth. The result is entertaining enough for those concerns to be dismissed, and seeing the elements of truth re-enacted does fit in surprisingly well with the wilder aspects.
You rarely get a film that feels tailor-made for yourself. A re-enactment of this unconventionally true tale by a cast who have demonstrated many times their talents countless times before. The events depicted in Driven almost feel as farcical as the most off-the-wall drama. Driven shows when you’re creating a legend or depicting its downfall, why not do it with some style?
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