Drive Angry – A Hell of a Good Time -Movie Review
By Jessica Dwyer
I love Nic Cage. I’m not gonna lie. People seem to either love him or hate him, but I for one am a Cage Believer. He never fails to entertain me. And I truly like the guy…he’s a big fanboy and I’d give my left arm for a chance to see his comic book collection.
I enjoyed his last film, Season of the Witch (ironic that Tom Atkins was in Drive Angry now that I think of it) even though Cage was probably more subdued in that film than any other he’s done in the last few years. But Drive Angry gives Nic a chance to showcase that which we love him for the most…going ape shit crazy, driving fast, and blowing stuff (and people) up.
Drive Angry is a throwback Hard R action/horror flick that gives many a nod to Grindhouse films of the past. There is gratuitous amounts of violence, sex, and lots of fast cars. There’s also a Winnebago harkening back to Race with the Devil that, not surprisingly, is part of a major car chase in the movie.
The plot is basic with Cage’s character Milton (think Paradise Lost) escaping from hell to take revenge on the cult leader who killed his daughter and plans on sacrificing his granddaughter (Billy Burke plays the cult leader, he who is Bella’s daddy from Twilight…this film would have been perfect if the cultists were named The Twihards.) William Fichtner plays the demon who has to bring Cage back to hell (and he’s probably one of the top reasons to see the movie as he just look like he’s having way too much fun telling people when they are going to die.) Amber Heard is the waitress named Piper who can kick as much ass as the boys can as she teams up with Milton to save his grand baby.
There is no sort of preamble to the movie, it starts out and doesn’t stop. The characters have no time to develop so they are set up from the moment they arrive on screen as very over the top in who they are supposed to be. So if you are looking for depth, you won’t find it here. And that’s not what this movie is about. It’s about fun and crazy and having a good time rooting on the anti-hero while he takes down the bad guys. I do have to say I like the take they have on hell though (and that Satan is really a reserved and quiet warden of a big prison.) It’s surprisingly well thought out and inventive.
The 3D is also well done, as this is from the team that brought us My Bloody Valentine 3D (which I also enjoyed.) The film was made for 3D, not retrofitted later on. So you won’t have a Clash of the Titans experience here.
Tom Atkins, he of My Bloody Valentine 3D and a horror legend shows up as a lawman out to stop Milton. I cheered when he walked on screen. David Morse is also on board, one of the more underrated character actors around I think.
Drive Angry won’t be for everyone. But if you are fan of crazy, unapologetic, R-rated action films that don’t take themselves seriously and are just there to enjoy, I think you should go. I love that sort of movie when they are done well, and this was a fun ride pure and simple. Great visuals and Fichtner stealing every scene he’s in while Cage delivers the crazy. Go see it and have a blast.