The first time Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn teamed with former Mouseketeer Ryan Gosling, the result was Drive, a retro Getaway flick that tightroped between bursts of ultraviolence and blasts of sonic pop. Their latest collaboration, Only God Forgives, couldn’t be more different, and certainly won’t inspire the devotion of scorpion jacketed cosplayers.
Refn has made a career out of crime. He directed an entire trilogy about Scandinavian drug dealers (Pusher), and plumbed the depths of recidivism in Bronson. With the exception of Valhalla Rising, his one-eyed Viking picture, Refn has cultivated a morbid fascination with sociopaths, but has never come close to revealing what actually makes them tick. Until now.