Drive Angry

Certain movies deserve all the negative feedback they receive because let’s face it, they’re complete shit.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  Shit like Battlefield Earth or the 1990 Captain America movie.  These are movies that aren’t “so bad they’re good”, or “so shitty it’s funny”, or even “it’s ok if you’re drunk”.  They’re just plain unequivocal crap.  Then the movie Drive Angry comes along.  It stars Nicholas “Maga Acting” Cage as a bad ass who breaks out of hell to rescue his baby granddaughter from a Satanic Cult, and get his revenge on the cult leader who killed his daughter, via guns and muscle cars.  Oh, and it’s directed by the dude who brought us the excellent 3-D (actually worth it in this case) slasher romp My Bloody Valentine 3D.  How could this possibly be a bad film you ask?  What does it have in common with those other turds you listed above?  In terms of the actual movie…nothing at all.  It’s pretty much what I expected it to be (minus the mega acting which would’ve pushed this thing into the stratosphere of all time greats, oh well).  What it has in common is it now holds the distinct honor of being the all time lowest grossing 3-D movie ever released.   It made a paltry 5 million at the box office (and yes I realize how crazy it is to call 5 million dollars paltry, but those be the times we live in people) and all it had to go up against was Hall Pass.


It isn’t like this thing was flying beneath the radar or anything.  It has a big name in the lead (admittedly he’s done some movies that do less then inspire confidence, although personally I dig Cage in 90% of his movies, even if the movie itself sucks balls), it’s 3-D, it’s by the guy who did My Bloody Valentine 3D, it had a decent add campaign, was favorably reviewed in most online publications and magazines/newspapers, it involves car chases in muscle cars, satanic cults and lots of shooting.  Yet somehow no one apparently had any interest in that sort of thing.  Instead Hall Pass (a movie I’ve heard next to nothing about and honestly sounds like something I might, if I was completely bored and had absolutely nothing else to watch, watch for free as a download or on Netflix or whatever) takes number one, and then it even gets stomped by 7 other movies which have been out anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks already (Gnomeo and Juliet, Unknown, I Am Number Four, Just Go With It, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, and The King’s Speech). Seriously people, that is fucking shameful. 

This is a movie that was made to see in the theatre, in 3-D, and loud as fucking hell.  Drive Angry is the type of original, fun action entertainment that you simply don’t get enough of in this modern age of remaking everything under the sun (that didn’t need to be remade in the first place), incomprehensible shaky cam, way too serious for its own good “post action”, and tween garbage like Twilight and the aforementioned I Am Number Four. Drive Angry doesn't deserve to be lumped in with the Battlefield Earth's of the world. This is like Grindhouse all over again; total suckage.

Allow me to list the things Drive Angry has that necessitate at least one viewing: Nicholas Cage out for revenge, limbs blown and/or hacked off in gory fashion with various guns and implements, satanic cults, car chases involving muscle cars and excessive amounts of explosions, a sex scene during a shootout (ala Shoot ‘Em Up), hot chicks, plenty of nudity, Tom Atkins as a gun happy sheriff, more nudity, more people being shot, 3-D that’s actually worth seeing (and has some really cool new things you’ve haven’t seen in a 3-D movie before, check out the memory layering to get an idea of what I mean, slick shit that is) and one big motherfucking gun called the Godkiller that has the power to blow you away so hard you don’t go to heaven or hell, you just don’t exist.  Now that’s a gun. 

I’d also like to take this opportunity to sing the praises of William Fichtner who plays the best character in the movie, The Accountant, a demon from hell hunting down Cage’s vengeance seeking character Milton.   He chews scenery like it’s a tasty hamburger, delivering line after line of solid gold in every scene he’s in.  He also does cool shit with a magic coin (seems to be able to turn in into whatever he needs at that time) and tricks cops (by turning it into an FBI badge) into doing what he wants (even when he walks out of a house where he just impaled a guy through the head with a broken baseball bat) and those donut eating pork by-products actually help him hunt down Milton (and of course SPOILER end up getting killed).

It isn’t all roses in this movie though.  I was a little let down that Cage played this one so straight.  He has a few Nicholas Cage style lines here and there that are pretty funny, and he makes a promise early in the movie that would be a throwaway facetious comment but here becomes literal in the best possible way at the end (you’ll know what I mean if you see it), but I was honestly hoping to see him a little more unhinged and chewing scenery as much as Fichtner.  Not only a battle of guns on screen, but a battle of scene chewery in the acting department, that’d be cool.  When I was reading about this leading up to the movie Cage was even saying he was trying to work it so that in 3-D his tongue would stick out into the audience, but it didn’t end up in the cut I saw.  Too bad.

Apparently the heroine of the film, played by Amber Heard, has been getting shit on by the critical establishment and the talk backers and what not, but I thought she did fine.  I liked how she would just jump right into a brawl with men who would clearly stomp the piss out of her, but she seemed more than happy to take the beating if it meant getting a few licks of her own in.  I can respect that.  I also liked how they portrayed her as a sexually promiscuous kinda party girl type, but didn’t resort to any of the usual movie conventions for those sorts of characters (see: every slasher film ever made, bad girl=death).  That was refreshing.  Also I didn’t want her character to be graphically killed every time she said a line of dialogue like I did for other “tough girl” actress Jessica Biel in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and Blade 3, so that’s a plus.

All in all, Drive Angry is a solid actioner with plenty of gory violence and nudity, and also plenty of laughs.  It isn’t quite as great as I’d hoped it would be, but I was still satisfied and I urge everyone who enjoys movies that know how to have a good time to go and see this thing before it gets ejected from theatres (which I don’t imagine will take very long considering its box office performance).  It’s actually worth seeing this one in 3-D folks, and to not see it that way you’ll be missing out on a lot of the movies coolness.  C’mon, we need original movies like this to actually make money in theatres otherwise hold on to your hats for more shitty unnecessary remakes next year that will be a guaranteed 40 million gross no matter how horrible they are.