Ass-kicker: The Driver
Victim: Lackey sent by crime boss Bernie Rose
Don’t be lulled into a sense of romantic bliss by the above clip; being that Drive isn’t even in theaters yet, the entire scene isn’t available for clickable public consumption, but, trust us, the scene’s payoff is an explosion of ferocious violence. It starts off rather sweetly, though. Throughout the film, Ryan Gosling’s nameless character, simply known as The Driver, develops a loving bond with his pixie-cute neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), and their passionate smooch in the elevator is the culmination of endless, silent flirtations.
But keep an eye on the dude who’s cock-blocking Gosling from getting some love in an elevator, a la Aerosmith. He’s a hit-man sent to kill The Driver, and Sir Drive knows it—his lip-lock with Irene is actually a goodbye kiss, one last tender exchange before The Driver goes on a war-path against criminal mastermind Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks). Once their kiss is done, Refn switches the tone without even flinching; Gosling rams the guy’s head into the wall, flings him to the ground, and stomps his head into a pile of skin chunks and exposed brain matter. Kiss of death, anyone?