Directed by Patrick Lussier
Written by Todd Farmer & Patrick Lussier
Drive Angry is an interesting film for a number of reasons.
Reason #1: It stars Nicolas Cage in the lead role of John Milton. John Milton is a mysterious “traveler” who is in pursuit of the man who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter. That man happens to be Jonah King (Billy Burke), the leader of an underground satanic cult who plans on using Milton’s granddaughter as a sacrifice. Milton is exactly the type of character that Nicolas Cage has been playing recently: one which delivers a quick paycheck. Cage is an Academy Award winning actor which the chops to give a great performance when he needs one, but he is also famous for those terrible roles when he simply takes the paycheck to help pay for his pet octopus, amongst other things.
Reason #2: This film has a completely irrational plot to it. In addition to the kidnapping, man-hunting aspect of the film, Milton, along the way, picks up a sidekick, Piper, who is played by beauty Amber Heard. Piper has recently caught her fiancé with another woman. Milton comes to her aid and takes care of business as they make off with his vintage muscle car, with license plate ‘DRVAGRY’. She has nothing invested in Milton’s manhunt, yet tags along for the fun of it.
Reason #3: “The Accountant”. The Accountant, played by William Fichtner, is supposedly an FBI agent looking for Milton, but for what, we do not know. The Accountant is interesting because he has no regard for human life and is great at delivering classic one-liners. Fichtner’s delivery is dead on every time.
Reason #4: This is a wide release with B-movie written all over it. B-movie’s are notorious for lots of violence, sex, and not a lot of production value. Often they are released as straight to video and feature unknown or washed up actors. So when Nicolas Cage and company show up with Drive Angry, it is an occasion. The film is chock full of unnecessary violence and sex, sometimes thrown together at the same time. Throw in a satanic cult and you have a B-movie trifecta.
Reason #5: This type of film can be hit or miss by its very nature. Oftentimes it depends on whether the filmmakers realize what they are making. In this case, all of the actors were in on the joke and give great over the top performances. The director had the right idea too, especially when using 3D, which, for the most part, is the only way to view the film in theaters. Oddly, most theaters are not also offering the film in 2D. However, for all of the great “bad” scenes in the film, overall it just did not go far enough to become so bad that it was good. This fault falls on the screenwriting team which seemed to run out of imagination at times, leaving the film feeling flat and conventional when it should have been exciting and absurd.
Drive Angry makes for a fun night of entertainment but should certainly come with a warning beforehand. If you are looking for high brow cinema, look elsewhere, for this is as low brow as it gets. If you just want to spend some time watching ridiculous violence and an implausible plot, Drive Angry may not be so bad.