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Driven is a 2001 auto-racing movie directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliff Hanger, Cutthroat Island), written and produced by Sylvester Stallone, and starring Stallone, Kip Pardue, Til Schweiger, Burt Reynolds, Robert Sean Leonard, Estella Warren, Gina Gershon, Stacy Edwards and Cristian de la Fuente.
Ambitious rookie driver Jimmy Bly (Pardue) has been fast rising through the ranks of the ChampCar World Series at the behest of his brother/manager Demille (Leonard), but his performance has recently been slacking. His arch-rival, ex-champion Beau Brandenburg (Schweiger), is rising to the top again. To bolster his performance he dumps his fiancee Sophia (Estella Warren). Bly's team's owner Carl Henry (Reynolds) attempts to bolster his performance by having veteran Joe Tanto (Stallone) come out of retirement and mentor him, replacing his teammate Memo Moreno (Fuente). To further complicate matters, Joe's ex-wife Cathy Heguy (Gershon) is now married to Memo, and isn't pleased about Joe replacing him. The film portrays Jimmy, Joe and Beau sparring at various races to win the championship. Yet another character, journalist Lucretia Clan (Edwards) stands on the sidelines and romances Joe.
Was originally going to be about Formula One, but this was scrapped to be about Champ Car instead because Stallone couldn't procure enough information about the former, and couldn't get enough access to film at the real life races. Was not well-received by critics, on the grounds of unrealistic plot dynamics, underdeveloped characters, bad acting, bad special effects and an all-round tasteless portrayal of auto-racing.
This film provides examples of:
- Artistic License Physics
- To elaborate, there is very little about the actual crashes that are inaccurate. Most of the crashes are actually dumbed down compared to real-life incidents in open-wheel racing, and Bly's Japan crash is nearly identical to Bobby Rahal's 1998 crash at the same track. Only a very small number of crashes, most notably the Memo Moreno crash, genuinely defy physics. However, virtually everything else about the cars and the racing is a failure in physics - even the overtaking fails on a physics level.
- Gretzky Has the Ball: It's not very accurate to the real life series (see below and on the trope page for examples)
- Loads and Loads of Characters: As you can see by the above plot description, this movie has a bit of an excessive number of supporting characters. The characters of Cathy and Lucretia are almost completely superfluous to the plot.
- Mandatory Unretirement
- Marilyn Maneuver: A speedy race car passing a blonde (who's waiting in line) causes her skirt to get drafty and it blows up. As it does this, she shrieks abruptly and pulls her skirt back down, as she turns around to see what did this, who may have witnessed this, or both.
- Panty Shot: See above in Marilyn Maneuver.
- Recycled in Space: It's stock car racing movie Days of Thunder, with CART series cars.