DRIVE ANGRY Review

Hollywood is having a love affair with "B-movie" type "exploitation" films that have been making a slow comeback in recent years. "Drive Angry" looks like something that should have been made by Tarantino or Rodriguez. It is a film that should have had a trailer in between their double feature a few years ago and I probably would have been waiting in anticipation ever since. "Drive Angry" is a full on campy action flick, filled with obscene amounts of bad language, sex, blood, and cliched musical cues. And in all that it is nothing if not fun. It means no harm and will be forgotten in a few short weeks. It doesn't re-define the genre and certainly doesn't break new ground in any areas. It is, in the purest form, a homage to movies that are so bad they are good. So outrageously ridiculous that you can't help but love them.

What "Drive Angry" does add in relevance to the cinematic world though is that fact that although Nicolas Cage may be the worst actor working in Hollywood right now, he knows how he is perceived. And with roles like this and in last year's "Kick-Ass" he is carving out a niche that seems to suit him best. And while i don't want to make this review an analysis of Cage's career and film choices, it is very relevant to the kind of film this wants to be that the audience understand the persona Cage has created for himself. He makes bad movies, there is no doubt about that and he is able to use that status to play up the role of Milton here. A bad ass dude who has escaped from hell to avenge the death of his daughter and save her baby from a Satan worshipping cult leader who plan to sacrifice her so hell can take over earth. And on that note, you can hopefully understand why Cage was the perfect guy for the lead role here and why a movie like this is only the beginning of not only a new series of movies but of a strong genre that is making a comeback.

What I actually liked about this film though is that it did in fact get better as it went along. Though the set-up was great, taking advantage of every open moment to insert a cheesy line followed by a cuss word or unnecessary nudity, it isn't until the movie turns into a man on the road revenge film that it seems to find its groove and really get rolling. Director Patrick Lussier is smart in choosing great, but not as widely known actors like William Fichtner and Billy Burke in roles that they can really create strong persona's in and really dig into and relish while playing it up to the biggest type of camp they want. As the devils accountant Fichtner is probably the best part of the film and as Cage's assistant Amber Heard does her best acting to date. She is usually nothing more than a pretty face, but here that not only serves as part of her appeal but she also is able to kick enough butt and come off as a good balance to Cage's insane and over the top acting.

What more is there to say about a film that includes "Shot in 3D" in its title? It isn't a movie that will be nominated for any awards or even make a huge impression beyond its opening weekend (if that even) but it is a good time and if you know what you are getting yourself into go ahead and see it, but if you'd rather not watch slop for entertainments sake and acting that isn't an expression of camp, but more one of art than go down to a theater where one of the Oscar nominated films are still playing. You aren't missing much other than a fun ride. no pun intended.