Drive, and five other badass film heroes defined by their badass jackets

Categories: Film

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Drive, the film by Nicolas Winding Refn starring Ryan Gosling as a getaway driver so smooth you start to think he has some form of learning disability, is a perfect cinematic representation of "cool." (Read our review of Drive) It oozes that shit, both in its underbelly of tone and theme, but also in the surface details -- the neon pink font and electropop of the opening credits, the stylized theatricality of its formalism, and the costuming. Pretty much if you didn't walk out the theater wanting Ryan Gosling's jacket, you can turn in your "cool license." It happens.

Here are six characters defined by their badass jackets that you know you want.

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This year's hot Halloween costume for sociopaths. And hipsters.
6. The Driver
Drive

The Jacket: White quilted satin, members only cut, with a golden scorpion embroidered on the back.
If Ryan Gosling's character is a superhero, his jacket is the "S" on his chest, 'cause he only puts it on when shit is going down. At night, the jacket shines, giving The Driver a crazy conspicuous glow in the Los Angeles streetlamps, creating a testament to his internal duality, which sees this constant coolness periodically interrupted by bouts of extremely angry violence. He doesn't want to be noticed, but he does a lot of noticeable shit. As The Driver falls further into the complications that make up the film's plot, losing his cool more and more, the jacket becomes slowly covered in blood. But no matter how bloody it gets, he won't take that thing off.

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5. Brendan
Brick
The Jacket:
A non-descript brown thing.
Brendan's jacket in Brick manages to work for his character on a variety of levels. It's realistic, 'cause every high school had one outcast who never took his jacket/hoodie off. It's the suburban high school version of the brown trenchcoat, connecting Joseph Gordon Levitt to the Bogart characters that inspired the cinematic tradition of his hard-boiled detective. Most importantly, it's his armor: Chandler always considered the noir detective to be a white knight, the only beacon of justice in a corrupt world. Brendan burrows into his jacket like a turtle when he's in trouble, uses it as a shield to keep himself distanced from, if not above, the criminal culture he's exploiting to get the bottom of his ex-girlfriend's murder. It's only when the jacket comes off that we think he might be in the kinda trouble he didn't plan on handling.

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4. El Mariachi
Desperado/Once Upon a Time in Mexico
The Jacket:
Dark brown suede mariachi jacket with big ass scorpion embroidered on the back.
Somewhere between El Mariachi and Desperado, the unnamed deadly hombre that kills drug dealers with a guitar case full of guns got hisself a customized jacket with a scary ass scorpion. He must've seen Drive. El Mariachi's jacket is more practical than symbolic, though. Without it, no one would think he was a mariachi. He'd just be a dude with conchos on his pants. More importantly, his jacket provides him with long, loose sleeves that he uses to hide his spring loaded pistol holsters, which he in turn uses to kill more people than cancer.

The Top 3 are on page 2.

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16 comments
The Real Johnson
The Real Johnson

Wow. Didn't make the author's top five and 14 commenters also failed to mention James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause? Possibly the most iconic jacket in all of film being work by the most iconic badass.

Panachedenver
Panachedenver

nic cage's jacket (oh how i hate that man) in wild at heart, 'this jacket is a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom'.

tim davids
tim davids

Angry that I also didn't put in the future Nike self-drying jacket from BTTF2.

silent
silent

Brick? Lol

Reaching there.

tim davids
tim davids

Honestly? You're right. I just do my best to mention Brick in everything I possibly can.

Pygar3000
Pygar3000

madonna's jacket in desperately seeking susan.

Nick Lucchesi
Nick Lucchesi

For the 6 Lamest Jackets in Film, I would like to nominate Jason Alexander's Members Only jacket in the underrated classic "Shallow Hal."

TK
TK

You forgot Stuntman Mike's Icy Hot bomber and Skywalker's ceremonial jacket from A New Hope.

tim davids
tim davids

I want to buy Luke's jacket and wear it when I go to Taco Bell.

Asdf
Asdf

You forgot Nathan Fillion's Browncoat from Serenity and the jacket from fight club.

tim davids
tim davids

I'm kinda annoyed at myself for not putting in Serenity.

BrownCOATS, Tim.

Matthew Meyer
Matthew Meyer

You forgot Stu Nathans jacket from Fast Times at Ridgemont High

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