by Ken B.
The jokes in License to Drive are like what would happen if you had a camel drive a car. A few surprising moments of near accuracy, but most times come desperately close to gigantic, catastrophic failures. My first red flag watching this movie was less than thirty seconds after the 20th Century Fox logo faded out. An absolutely terrible cover of The Beatles’ “Drive my Car” played over the main titles.
Earlier in the day I watched License to Drive, I watched another movie on Netflix, just to sort of reset my mind so I wouldn’t compare everything to Metropolis. I can’t remember what the movie was called, but it was also a comedy about high school students (albeit, much more grim in its style of comedy). The only modicum of information I can recall is that I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it. For a movie I can not remember at all, it seems so much better compared to this pile of substandard garbage.
In the 1980s, the late Corey Haim was in a lot of movies with Corey Feldman. The Two Coreys, they were called.I now propose the idea children born in the US between 1972 and 1975 were smashed over the head a couple of times at birth by movie executives, or movie executives are just dull, because that’s the only reasonable way I can imagine anyone thinking kids are this stupid to find any of this funny.
So, Haim plays Les Anderson (oh, how I wish this movie would be directed by Wes Anderson! I don’t know if it would have been better or not, but at least there would have a been delightful wordplay!). Les, like many 16 year old kids, is very excited by the not-so-far-away dreams of getting his driver’s license, and as a result, social freedom.
Well, as anyone with half a sliver of common sense would predict, he fails the test. And, as anyone with half a sliver of common sense would say, they’d rather be run over by a Student Driver that continue to watch this tragically inept movie continue. But I had no choice…
Now, let’s talk a little bit about the nearly dead positives. Um… the special effects are pretty good. The driving stunts, which I would call a tragic waste of resources and risked lives of the stuntmen, are rather well done.
After watching this one end, I wondered about the possible economic and legal risk of getting in a time machine, heading back to 1988, going to a packed theater playing this, running up to the front of the room, and screaming “Aren’t you better than THIS?!”, before heading back to the present time.
Following Haim’s death in 2010, Corey Feldman said there were two sequels to this film that were initially in development, entitled License to Fly and License to Dive. Hmm.
It’s worth noting that the worst thing about bad comedies is when they think they’re hysterical – I’m talking Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker or Monty Python levels of funny they think they have, and never really figure out just how substandard they are. License to Drive appears to fall victim to this. You can feel the movie guffawing throughout at itself, as it just crashes in real life. It’s depressing.