Drive Angry (2011) Review

Time: 105 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes.
Cast:
Nicolas Cage as Milton
Amber Heard as Piper
William Fichtner as The Accountant
Billy Burke as Jonah King
David Morse as Webster
Katy Mixon as Norma Jean
Director: Patrick Lussier

Thrown into hell for his crimes, brutal felon John Milton (Nicolas Cage) escapes from the fiery pit after cultists murder his daughter and take her baby. Intent on rescuing the child, Milton joins forces with a waitress, who gives him her ex-lover’s fire-red muscle car. In it, the two pursue the cult leader, who plans to sacrifice the infant and unleash hell on Earth. However, the hunters become the hunted when Satan sends his merciless henchman (William Fichtner) to drag Milton back).

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I wasn’t really expecting much from Drive Angry, apparently it wasn’t very good but it’s an over the top action movie and it had Nicolas Cage, so naturally I had to check it out for myself. Drive Angry as to be expected wasn’t very good but also unfortunately it really wasn’t as crazy as it should be. Nonetheless I still had a fun time with it.

The plot of Drive Angry is straightforward enough. Nicolas Cage comes back from hell to get revenge on a cult who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter. The movie doesn’t try to be more than it is thankfully. The dialogue really isn’t well written, which is to be expected. Drive Angry is a sort of grindhouse/exploitation movie with an overblown plot, extreme content and trashy writing. This movie does have some over the top things, I mean it includes Nicolas Cage having sex with clothes on with sunglasses while smoking a cigar while in a gunfight in slow, so by that point you’ll have an idea what kind of movie you’re in for. At the same time, in terms of the tone it feels like it wasn’t going crazy enough. The plot itself feels a little dull and really not as exciting as it should’ve been, at times feeling like a standard R rated action flick. It does have its moments but a lot of the time it does feel like it was a wasted opportunity.

The acting on the whole isn’t that great but it’s not one of the things I was really expecting. Nicolas Cage has built up a reputation of having some incredibly over the top performances, unfortunately he isn’t all crazy like he was in movies like Ghost Rider 2, Face/Off or Deadfall. It feels like a wasted opportunity unfortunately. Despite this, he is still entertaining enough and doesn’t end up being worst Nicolas Cage (which is dull Nicolas Cage). I haven’t seen Amber Heard in much, but if she has some acting talent it’s not on display here. She’s really not given anything to work with, so I don’t put it fully on her, but she isn’t really that good here. Billy Burke is the villain as the leader of the cult, who is quite silly and over the top but he works fine enough. By far the best thing about Drive Angry is William Fichtner. He plays a character named The Accountant, who’s pretty much Satan’s assistant and he is just having a total ball playing this character, stealing every single scene that he’s on screen. Just the scene involving him, a truck and the song “That’s the way I like it” is worth the price of viewing alone.

The direction Patrick Lussier makes the movie seem like a somewhat modern grindhouse movie. The CGI wasn’t the best. Whether it be the bullets, fire, blood, a lot of it looks quite fake. However, it is fake in a good sort of way, in a trashy movie sort of way. It is absolutely bloody, violent and obscene at times. Unfortunately, as overblown as it is, it’s not very creative, it’s like basic over the top, if such a thing exists. It’s not bad but it’s not very memorable.

As an actual movie, Drive Angry clearly isn’t good at all, but as a guilty pleasure action flick, it is actually somewhat okay. It is a crazy mindless film, oddly enough though, the main issue is that it’s not as crazy as it should be. However it is entertaining enough that it might be worth watching (for those who like over the top action grindhouse movie).

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