This Is the Most Stylish Movie Trailer of 2013

Slate's Culture Blog
April 4 2013 9:01 AM

Trailer Critic: Only God Forgives

onlygodforgives3
Ryan Gosling.

Drive, directed by Nicholas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling, was easily one of the most memorable movies of 2011. I haven’t seen it since it left theaters; its violence made me too squeamish to want to revisit it any time soon. (I did watch the opening sequence again on Netflix; it was as good as I remembered.) But I’m glad I saw it on the big screen. Some thought the film more style than substance, but I found Drive to be an excellent, if upsetting, movie about movies, and movie violence, and movie heroes.

A trailer doesn’t really need much substance, in any case, only style, which is probably why the one for Refn and Gosling’s second collaboration, Only God Forgives, is the best that 2013 has given us so far. 

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Seriously, what’s not to like? OK, when he grabs the guy by the mouth like that, I did squirm a little, recalling a certain incident with a hammer (or a wrench?) the last time Gosling and Refn got together. But no one wears a suit and strolls in front of neon lights quite like Gosling does. The presence of the great Kristin Scott Thomas is equally encouraging. She reportedly plays Gosling’s mother; he’s running a boxing club in Bangkok as a front for the family’s criminal activities, or something. Gosling called the script “the strangest thing I’ve ever read and it’s only going to get stranger.”

That haunting song is by a Thai group called Proud, apparently, and its title translates to something like “She’s a Dream.” Anyway, I’m in, obviously. Wanna fight?

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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