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Drive Angry 3D

A movie directed by Patrick Lussier

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Grindhouse action flick....not so much. NEEDS MORE NIC CAGE ANGRINESS GAH....

  • Jul 28, 2011
** out of ****

As a movie directed by Patrick Lussier, the man behind the 3D remake of "My Bloody Valentine", the 2011 action-thriller "Drive Angry" doesn't exactly have room for what most of us would call "surprises". If you remember his previous feature well, you'll know that Lussier likes scenes of gratuitous nudity, violence, gore, and lots of profanity. Can't say I blame the guy; maybe he likes Grindhouse-style films. Nothing has changed; he's made another film which exists to exploit its subjects rather than do them narrative or artistic justice. There's no way that I could have enjoyed the film, given its "story", but granted, it's decent at what it does.

The problem I have is that it never goes to violent, depraved extremes like, say, "Hobo With a Shotgun"; a much better Grindhouse-esque flick that embraces the campy clich├ęs of these kinds of movies. I can't say that "Drive Angry" DOESN'T seem as if it's self-aware of its nigh-endearing absurdity, but it's not as ridiculous and bad-shit insane as it wants to be. If it had been more daring, and less needless and out-right lame, then maybe I would have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm sorry to say that it's just not worth most people's time.

John Milton (Nicolas Cage) escapes from hell in a car. He just gets in, and drives through the gates...erm, bridges...of the place; and that's all it takes. But I guess since he's technically dead, the pain of fire doesn't apply to him or his flesh. Anyways, he's anxious to get out because his daughter has been killed by the leader of a Satanic cult, and they've taken the baby. The part that really seems to piss Milton off is the concept of having the babe sacrificed; which he just doesn't like.

So, when he's back on earth, he meets up with a bartender, Piper (Amber Heard), who takes a liking for him. Basically, Milton fills her in on what's going on, and drags her into his web of violence and Satanism. Bring the noise!

Actually, hold that thought. I forgot the mention that there's also this creepy guy called "The Accountant" (William Fichtner) who seems to be following Milton. Whether the guy is a villain or an ally of our heroic characters isn't of our concern...but whatever; he's a cool character...probably the coolest as far as un-developed ones go.

The acting here is good. Nicolas Cage is appropriately campy in his role, for what he's doing. I kind of like how the guy is getting more "self-aware" in roles like this. He was great in "Bad Lieutenant: The Port Call of New Orleans", pretty good in "Kick-Ass", and not-so-good in "Season of the Witch". He's better here...but this is far from his best performance. Amber Heard is smoking HOT, but she's also decent, as her acting goes. But the real scenery-chewer is Fichtner, as The Accountant. He garners some solid laughs, and he's just-plain-amusing on a consistent level. He's not enough to save the film, but it's good to have people like him around to at least momentarily please the audience.

"Drive Angry" is well-made, and superbly directed; with impressive production design, action sequences, and whatever else. As I mentioned, the acting is good for what it is, the ambition is in the right place, but the film doesn't go over-the-top enough for me to like it. That's not to say that it won't have an audience; it will. But I imagine that even the most devoted Grindhouse-movie-fans will find it bland, as far as movies like this one go. There are better, crazier, ANGRIER movies out there. This one is neither angry, nor restrained enough, to be as good as it should be. There are some laughs, there's some mild fun to be had, but that's far from enough.

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More Drive Angry 3D reviews
review by . February 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Guy Movie With Intentioned
Whenever I go see a movie with Nicholas Cage these days, I always go in with very low expectations. Not sure why, but I guess I’ve been disappointed with the surge of movies he has done lately; most recently (barely two months ago) the uneven “Season of the Witch”. Well, director Patrick Lussier hasn’t exactly impressed me with his resume, but somehow I ended up watching “Drive Angry”. Not sure why but I guess I was in the right mood to see a silly, shoot ‘em …
review by . July 16, 2011
A Fistful of Awesome Disguised as a Bad Movie
By every stretch of the imagination, Drive Angry should be a bad movie. Low budget car-chase action flick with demons battling from hell on southern highways? I mean, it's even got Nicholas "Wicker Man" Cage in it. This should definitely suck. Then why is it so damned enjoyable?      Maybe it's because this movie comes right at you with the full intention of being everything that it is without even flinching, let alone apologizing. You want an action/horror …
review by . February 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Drive Angry 3D is the kind of slam-bang, no-hold-barred action film I like. In its heedless brutality and machismo, in its willingness to tell a totally preposterous story, and in director Patrick Lussier’s audacity to shoot it in 3D, it sidesteps the roadblocks of logic and taste and achieves a perverse level of entertainment. Do you have standards? Leave them at the door. They won’t help you as you watch Nicholas Cage engage in …
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2011
So much fun, you can almost forgive it for being in 3D.
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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