Drive Angry (Review)

DRIVE ANGRY
(2/25/11; Action, Thriller; 3D)
Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Katy Mixon, David Morse, Billy Burke, Christa Campbell, Charlotte Ross, Tom Atkins
SCR: Todd Farmer, Patrick Lussier
DIR: Patrick Lussier
MPAA: R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language.
1 hour 44 mins
Box: $10,721.050

Okay, so any movie called Drive Angry starring Nicolas Cage is going to come with a lot of lowered expectations. And arriving just a month after his dud Season of the Witch (2011) – and let’s face it, a whole lotta junk – nobody showed up, especially when asked to pay pricier 3D admissions. But this movie is a gnarly grindhouse blast with the coolest 3D effects in many moons. Cage is John Milton, a bad mofo who just escaped from hell (let that sink in for a second) racing to rescue his baby granddaughter before she’s sacrificed by a cult of Satan worshippers, led by Jonah King (Burke). The cult already sacrificed Milton’s daughter, so he’s also on a mission of retribution. He’s joined by blonde stunner Heard, who comes along for no other reason then, well why not? With the oddball angel of death called The Accountant (Fichtner) on his tail and Milton in hot pursuit of King, Drive Angry is essentially one long chase, peppered with attitude, gory deaths, sex and some snappy one-liners. Eventually a Southern-friend hothead cop (Atkins) joins the chase. It’s hard not think of Smokey and the Bandit (1977) with more Satanic bloodletting and heavy metal. Lussier and Farmer were the demented cats behind the 2009 version of My Bloody Valentine. These guys cleverly frame every shot for maximum effect in 3D, from depth of field to bullet whizzing toward the screen to (ahem) Heard’s assets. This isn’t a movie to throw into the 3D Blu-ray player when Grandma drops in for a visit. (Summit)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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