Vroom vroom. Yay Yay. Yawn yawn.Gimme a break with this friggin movie. Just because The Gosling is in it and they slathered it with some sort of 80's retro-hipster goop and someone stomps somebody's head flat-- doesn't make it any better than what it is... Which is mainly meh.

Here's the plot: Tough but nice guy gets caught up with the wrong bad guys. (Oh no!) What's at stake? (Dr. Evil pinky) One millllion dollars! Yadda. Blonde girl-next-door/love interest (literally next door). Car flip here. Shotgun there. Blood splat all over there. This script seems like it was skittered out from under a door of some reclusive screenwriter's bungalow -- except the screenwriter was too coked out and drunk to actually write-- so he had his coke dealer type it up as a goof. Surprising cookie cutter stuff here (and the cutter is shaped 'round'). Oh! Did I mention Gosling wears a silver vinyl jacket with a yellow scorpion on the back? (Barbarino voice) I think that's like symbolic for symbol symbolism or something, Mr. Kott-aire.

That's not to say this movie doesn't have 'moments'. The opening scene in this movie is amazing. It got me super psyched up for a cool subdued ride. But as soon as that scene was over we pulled into the parking lot and listened to The Gosling mumble his way through the next twenty minutes before something else "happened" again.. Sure it's fun to look at The Gosling--but man, that guy can be boring without even trying. I get that the character is supposed to be an emotionless void with a soul buried deep under the surface-- but the character flatlined for me throughout. How many times am I supposed to get my jolly's looking at The Gosling stare into the rear view mirror as the light lights up a rectangle around his eyes? So handsome! So mysterious! Ooh! Dangerous! But he just wants love! Awww... (F-T-S!)

So while watching and squirming and eye-rolling, I set me hopes on the saving grace of this flick-- the reputation for ultra violence and gore. Maybe it'll be extreme enough to balance the boredom? Kinda did sorta? But not really. Yah, there are some fun wow moments now and then. A couple real solid bloody chunky deaths. That dark red lumpy stuff. (Let's face it-- whenever anyone says something is ulta violent-- we're talking about seeing chunks of skull and brain, right? Either blown off or stomped out. Or a someone getting pummeled well after death. It's all in that murky chunky soup we all want to (not )see. And this movie does a nice job of that.)

I can't say whoever made this movie didn't try to make the most of it. They just didn't understand the proper definition of 'most'. A horrible 80's style soundtrack and dated pink font seemed like an identity afterthought rather than a vibe. Wrapping paper. And the intentional slow pace and quirky music is supposed to trick me into thinking this art house-y? I stand unfooled. Interesting casting was no savior neither-- Albert Brooks as a tough guy (okay... ish?), Cranston limping around trying to still prove he can be someone else, and Christina Hendricks making the same effort--without the limp. But the truth is if you take Gosling and 80's vibe out and put Nicholas Cage in-- what do you get with? A typical dopey Nicolas Cage movie. But admittedly, just like most Nic Cage movies, regardless of how sucky and stupid they are at the core... somehow-- deep inside-- I admit I kinda liked it.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- I really like looking at Ron Perlman's ridiculously cartoony face.
- The first scene almost makes the whole thing worth it. (maybe 'almost' is an exaggeration)
- The violence is pretty solid and alot of fun at times.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Slowing things way, way and going all noir-ish down doesn't make it respectable.
- The script was ridiculous.  "Bring the money! And we won't hurt the girl!" Really? Here's a better idea. Hurt the girl.
- I kept getting distracted thinking about the hundred other directions it coulda gone to make it better.

All is all, it's really just the star power of quiet Gosling that carries this movie-- and the truth is he sort of exploits his own star in this junky flick. I thought the soundtrack was horrible. The whole story is lazy. Ultraviolence is all well and good but at this point I can hatewatch Human Centipede over lunch while flipping through Us Weekly--  so seeing someone get a hammer smash to the hand might make me yelp 'Ow...' in the moment but I can shake it off no problem. This forgettable movie is cruising the same old streets, listening to the same old music, and worst of all-- the vehicle didn't even run any cinematic red lights. It just always floored it when the light turned yellow...

Easy there, rebel.