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Drive Angry


The premise of a good film often requires a certain level of imagination and cleverness, as well as a solid game-plan for how the film should be carried out. A good idea can be taken from nothing and woven into a masterful piece of art. Then there are films like Drive Angry whose premise seems to have been formed over multiple PBRs with excessive amounts of illegal sparklers and a vintage car. This simple idea was then finished with a lot of “What if…” and “That’s totally a good idea” resulting in a jumbled mess that is just way too much.

Grade:

Milton (Nicolas Cage) escapes from hell to avenge the death of his daughter and save his granddaughter from the cult-leader Jonah King (Billy Burke, Twilight). Along the way he meets up with tough-as-nails Piper (Amber Heard), and is chased/followed by Hell’s semi-bounty hunter, the Accountant (William Fichtner).

Drive Angry succeeds in the most crucial aspect. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is a gratuitous amount of explosions, a wanton amount of sexual debauchery, and a lot of horribly acted driving. That’s the film, literally. The gaps between action scenes are, at their longest, four minutes. It goes from shooting to driving to explosion to sex and back – not necessarily in that order, and sometimes at the same time. This cycle works well at first and is fun. I freely admit that I found the first fifteen minutes, or so, entertaining, but Drive Angry is almost two hours long and proceeds to drive down a horrible slope into madness and nonsensical – and Satanical – babble.

The star is Nicolas Cage – need I say more? He does look particularly bored in this role, though*. He delivers his lines with the excitement of someone receiving their bills. Amber Heard is aesthetically perfect, but lackluster in most other respects. She kicks a little ass and tries valiantly to get a reaction from Cage, but there’s only so much that can be done when the framework of the film is so poor. The best character, by far, is the Accountant. Fichtner clearly revels in the chance to be a condescending jerk to anyone crossing his path. As for Burke, he gets to deliver the most Shakespearian line of the film, “I’m going to kill you…then defile your corpse.” The luminaries of literature and all things written must be proud.

Drive Angry had the potential to be a fun film to shut your brain off and forget about the world. Too bad it is so bad you are brought back into the world and forced to notice each and every flaw. There is a fine line between bad on purpose and bad inherently. I think we all know on which side Drive Angry falls.

*Nicolas Cage has been in dozens of films, yet he still feels the need to move his hands back and forth while driving even though the car is going straight. Boggles my mind.

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