25 February 2011 | staff-577-378882
Review: Drive Angry 3D
Milton (Nicholas Cage), long hair bleached and greased back with vengeance, tosses his duffel bag into the back of newly-met stranger Piper's (Amber Heard) Dodge Charger. With her hands shoved into her daisy barely dukes, the uncertainty in her gaze is lost on, or possibly ignored by, Milton. As he opens the door to get in:
Piper: "I don't pick up hitchhikers, you know."
Milton: "I wasn't stickin' out my thumb."
*car door slam*
This early scene sums up exactly what you're getting yourself into with the Nicholas Cage driven movie, Drive Angry. You've seen the trailers. You've experienced Cage's knack to play unhinged, surrealistic characters. This 70's throwback to the pulp, metal on metal, grindhouse era of film doesn't ask you if you want a ride. You jump in without invitation and only know one thing: you'd better strap in. And it's with this that Drive Angry does not disappoint.
Milton, in his '64 Riviera, has just escaped from imprisonment and is searching for a baby snatched from her mother by a devil-worshipping cult hellbent on a full moon sacrifice led by Jonah King (Billy Burke of The Twilight Saga), a southernly sadistic soothsayer. It seems Milton's own daughter was once stolen from him by the same cult and, well, he's experiencing a little road rage as he shoots his way through one lead to the next. Along the way, he joins up with Piper and her '68 Charger who's pretty looks pack a pretty punch and isn't afraid to gun and run. All the while they are being chased across 6 state lines by trigger happy cops and The Accountant (William Fichtner of Prison Break), a seemingly supernatural hunter looking to return Milton to his warm, warm prison. Throw in a '71 Chevelle, unapologetic bloodshed, and absolutely necessary explosions, and you have one darkly comedic, action fueled vehicle.
Drive Angry embraces the fact that it is ridiculous by nature which makes it very enjoyable. The over the top dialogue, car chases, and 3D shootouts really add to making this a midnight moviegoer's film. Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer (My Bloody Valentine 3D) aimed to keep the integral car sequences visceral and strayed away from CGI for a majority of the chases, though there is plenty of CGI elsewhere. Being an unabashed opponent to the influx of 3D in the cinema today, Drive Angry was filmed as a 3D film from the start and I actually liked it. Some shots were intentionally gimmicky which added to the humor, but the entire movie is a bit over the top and it flowed nicely.
Drive Angry makes no assumptions that it is anything but a popcorn-spilling, laugh-out- loud, violently raw roller coaster on its way no where near an Oscar. And it's better for it. If you don't mind having an arm shot and projected at your face while Nic Cage loses touch with reality, Drive Angry will provide an entertaining distraction from the repetitive daily commute.
3.5 seat belts out of 5