Home Movie Reviews ‘Drive Away Dolls’ – Review
‘Drive Away Dolls’ – Review

‘Drive Away Dolls’ – Review


When the Coen Brothers take to the screen, you can be sure that a hell of a surprise will be in store, and now Ethan Coen, in partnership with his film editor and wife, Tricia Cooke, sets a crazy new direction in Drive Away Dolls. And the shocks, thrills, and spills come fast and heavy in this one.

This comedy caper follows Jamie (Margaret Qualley), an uninhibited free spirit bemoaning yet another breakup with a girlfriend, and her demure friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) who desperately needs to loosen up. In search of a fresh start, the two embark on an impromptu road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals along the way.

For more than 40 years, the Coen Brothers have held a singular voice as filmmakers who are ready to take risks and push the boundaries of cinema and whose films always get a reaction out of their audience. Now Ethan Coen steps out on his own for Drive Away Dolls, a full-on exploitation-lesbian-crime-comedy caper that is certain to be an instant cult hit and which makes for a truly unique experience. While not treading into spoiler territory, what I will say is it follows two lesbians, outlandish, wild child Jamie (Margaret Qualley) and her uptight and slightly standoffish best friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan), who decide to hit the road to Tallahassee and undertake a ‘drive away’ service to do it. And while the girls think they’ll just have a madcap road trip, they soon are embroiled in a ‘deadly’ conspiracy that will have dangerous results for all involved.

Drive Away Dolls is a throwback to the classic exploitation-sex-action-comedy films of Coen’s youth, and that’s exactly the type of vibe that the director is going for here. There’s a good helping of gnarly violence and a steamy side of no-holds-barred sex, and Drive Away Dolls fits the classic drive-in style of movie-making that inspired a whole generation of filmmakers to push the envelope. It also has that classic Coen Brothers off-centre weirdness to it, but when the narrative does come together in the third act, the results are hilarious, and you’ll be in absolute hysterics.

Actresses Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan are at the tip of the spear of young talent working in Hollywood today, and they’ve got a fantastic back-and-forth in the film. Qualley is completely in-your-face as Jamie, a guileless Texan girl who is all too happy to flaunt her sexuality and who has no filter to her actions, and this is contrasted with Viswanathan, who is severely uptight as Marian, who is pulled in a bold new direction with Jamie that has life-changing consequences. Stand-out cameo appearances from the likes of Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal and Matt Damon only add to the fun, and Drive Away Dolls doesn’t let up for a second.

Drive Away Dolls is quirky, out there, and completely original. It’s a film that’s not afraid to push the boundaries, and it has a voice that’s all its own. It’s a definite cult film, and audiences who are looking for something that will push the envelope will find it in this one.

Image: Universal Pictures