Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The Stars: Nicholas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke.
The Story: John Milton (Cage) is a muscle car driving, weapon-loaded dead man who has literally, escaped from Hell. He’s aggressively seeking out Jonah King (Burke), the psychopathic cult leader responsible for murdering his daughter and now, kidnapping his granddaughter to use as a sacrifice for diabolical means. Upon befriending Milton, feisty Piper (Heard)—an ex-diner waitress with a big heart and a ‘sailor mouth’ gets unwittingly caught up in the chase. Also hot on their tail is the one only referred to as The Accountant (Fichtner), Satan’s repo man hell bent on returning Milton back to whatever flaming depths he busted out of.
The Buzz: Canadian horror/thriller director Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine, Red Eye) pilots this project with a screenplay he co-wrote with Todd Farmer (who has a cameo in the film). Shot and planned for the big screen in 3D, Drive Angry’s eye-popping special effects were created by Gary Tunnicliffe (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, My Bloody Valentine and Scream 4).
inSing.com thinks: One thing’s for sure, Drive Angry does not waste time building a back story or delving into character histrionics; it cuts right to the chase in all its trashy glory, and is a magnificent throwback to 70s grindhouse movies of yore. Most importantly, this is a film that exploits 3D technology to its best advantage; no herky-jerky motions or annoying, fuzzy lines. Yes, body parts and bullets fly at your face, but the difference between Drive Angry and countless other (pointless) 3D movies is its incisive ability to use it to enhance the viewing experience, instead of leaving audiences with splitting headaches. Lussier sensibly chooses to leave most of the car chase scenes 3D-less, allowing one to easily focus and settle in on the visuals as if looking through a window.
Cage pulls back on his usual over-the-top acting (Read: Every other film he’s done in the last decade) and plays Milton pretty much in a straight, no-nonsense fashion. So blatantly, in fact, that it becomes hilarious. But it’s the supporting cast who truly make Drive Angry thoroughly enjoyable. Heard’s Piper avoids falling into the token female sidekick cliché by being sexy without appearing slutty (she shows less skin than Megan Fox in Transformers) and gets in more than her share of fistfights and cussing matches. Burke takes a break from his kind, fatherly role in Twilight and seems to be having an absolute ball playing Devil-worshipping, hillbilly Jonah King. Fichtner (The Dark Knight, Blades of Glory), another terribly underrated performer that always delivers, is utterly luminous as The Accountant; and he significantly contributes to the film’s dark comic humour. And if that one scene with him driving a gas truck through a police roadblock, derailing cars around him while “That’s The Way I Like It” blasts on the stereo doesn’t make you giggle, nothing else will.
Possibly boasting one of the simplest and shortest scripts in the world, Drive Angry is a solid 1 hour and 45 minutes of ridiculous, brainless fun—a brash and crass genre film which will likely linger in your heart and eventually end up on your DVD wish-list this year.
Beckii C is a former film production tyrant who also happens to be an insatiable movie addict. When not engaged in spirited debate, she can be found scouring the town for perfect vintage fashion and whispering at small animals. Her guilty pleasures include listening to bands who can't play their own instruments and devouring cream puffs.