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Driven

Theatrical poster for one of the worst sports movies ever made.

Driven is a 2001 sports/drama film, directed by Renny Harlin of Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Cliffhanger fame, and starring Sylvester Stallone, who also wrote and produced. Co-starring alongside Stallone are Kip Pardue, Burt Reynolds, Estella Warren and Til Schweiger.

Stallone originally intended for the movie to be a biography on the late Ayrton Senna. However, he was unable to procure enough information regarding Formula One and thus decided to make a dramatization based around the now-defunct Champ Car, known at the time as "Championship Auto Racing Teams" (CART).

The movie was met with extremely negative reception, earning a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes and seven nominations on the 2002 Razzie Awards. It also bombed at the box office, making only US$54 million out of a US$94 million budget. Both Jay Leno and Richard Roeper have deemed it to be the worst car movie ever made. Stallone has since regretted making the movie.

Plot

In a fictionalized 2002 CART season, rookie driver Jimmy Bly (Pardue) becomes the new rising star, having won 5 races. However, his position is being threatened by his arch-rival, Beau Brandenburg (Schewiger).

Carl Henry (Reynolds), who owns Bly‘s team, decides to take matters into his own hands by un-retiring Joe Tanto (Stallone) to become Bly‘s mentor.

Why it Sucks

  1. Poor acting.
  2. Ends up just being Rocky, but with racing cars. This is not as awesome as it sounds due to a terrible storyline with underdeveloped characters, subplots that go nowhere, and cliche dialogue to boot.
  3. Horrifyingly obvious CGI effects.
  4. Defies the laws of physics numerous times. For instance, a Champ Car, all of which were fueled by methanol, crashes into a lake. Its fuel leaks out and it somehow catches fire and causes an explosion. Methanol is extinguished by water and does not float in water.
  5. Too many crash scenes.
  6. Overall tasteless and inaccurate depiction of open-wheel racing.
  7. There are a few times where the camera focuses on beautiful women in a manner that comes across as being rather creepy.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Stallone himself does deserve credit for trying to make himself a supporting player in his own movie, an idea that he would revisit fourteen years later with 2015's Creed.
  2. The crashes are unintentionally hilarious.

Trivia

  • Leonardo DiCaprio was originally considered for the role of Jimmy.
  • The working title for this film was Champs.
  • Sylvester Stallone has disowned this film.

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