Drive Angry 3D is like a pinata full of goodies and a few little turds mixed in. The goodies involved, I’m sure you could figure out, are Nic Cage in his peak of rage and the fact that the film was actually filmed in 3D to begin with, rather than post-conversion. The biggest turd in the pinata was the plot of the storyline, although some might see the plot as the whole reason to call this a new-age Grindhouse flick.
First, I would just like to say to Hollywood and Nic Cage, “Thank you.” Thanks for finally realizing what hidden talents lie within the beast of “The Cage” and finally embracing those tricks and wasting millions of dollars on big productions so that a few can get a rise out of the results. I am proud to announce to anyone that I have “Cage-Rage”, you know, like Bieber-Fever! I will drive through a snow storm to sit through the dreck that Nic Cage puts himself in, because it’s just so bad that it’s good. In fact, I did drive through a snow storm to review this film. His acting skills are right on par for what you can imagine the role calls for: an escaped prisoner of Hell is on the loose to take down the men that have killed his daughter and kidnapped his baby grand-daughter with the intent of sacrificing her for immortality. Yeah, I know.
I will give a small gripe that I didn’t enjoy The Cage as much in Drive Angry as I did in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. He has a really good sense of timing with humor and there wasn’t any room for his character to crack a smile in Drive Angry. However, there were plenty of laughs to be had through out. Whether they were intentional or not is up for debate. That leads me to the stinky plot.
If you had gone in with out seeing a trailer beforehand, you would be half way through the movie before you really understood that Milton (Cage) has escaped from Hell and is roaming the Earth as the undead to capture and kill some bad men and save a little girl. Just think Shoot ‘Em Up with Clive Owen on cocaine! You also witness a vulgar scene involving kidnapping, dismembering a bad guy’s ya know and a brutal death with out having any previous knowledge who the heck any of them are. Now, I’m sure that Writer/Director Patrick Lussier knew that he was making a Grindhouse film when he started and in places, it really works. In other parts, however, it really drags. In the down time between chases and slaughters, we get to know Milton a tiny bit at a time. The problem was how much the film dragged at these parts. Don’t underestimate your audience, we got it at the start, just get to the action already! And man! were there some pretty brutal, and imaginative deaths in this film and most of them looked great in 3D.
3D is a tricky business. Avatar brought 3D into the spotlight again and has been the comparison for every 3D movie since then. I am not going to compare this film to Avatar or any other 3D film, for that matter. It’s safe to say that the 3D in this film is spectacular in doing what it was intended for: cheap thrills. Having been filmed in 3D, rather than post-conversion, the depth of field in every scene will constantly remind you that you are witnessing 3D. Well, that and the 3D glasses squeezing your head. Just in the opening scene it’s obvious with the camera opening on a deserted back road with a swinging stop-light in the foreground. Soon after, we see a car come speeding through the light with destruction not far behind.
Now, I can’t leave you with out also talking about some other talent in the film. Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, Zombieland) stars as Piper who is along for the ride the whole time and really kicks a lot of ass. I enjoyed her role as the empowered woman who doesn’t take shit from any man, not to mention she is not hard on the eyes. My favorite, behind The Cage of course, was The Accountant played by William Fichtner (The Dark Knight, Prison Break). The Accountant was released from Hell to retrieve Milton and return him from where he escaped. He wore a nice suit the entire time and never got a scratch on him. He reminded me of Pepe Le Pew never chasing after his prey, but somehow always around the corner by just walking. He got a big laugh out of me when he showed up in a fuel truck.
I am happy to announce that this is on the top of my list for the worst movie of 2011, but I would still recommend that people see it. Don’t bring your kids though. Don’t be stupid, just because it says 3D does not make it OK for kids. There is lots of nudity, violence and language. There is an epic scene with Nic Cage having sex with a woman while simultaneously killing 8-9 men. Pretty funny stuff for adults, but not appropriate for the young-ins. One last little tidbit to leave you with was a special thank you in the end credits to Bill Murray and Puxatony Phil for the quote that may have started this whole film: the epic film Groundhog day.
I give Drive Angry 2.5 “Don’t Drive Angry, Don’t Drive Angry” out of 5
by Angela Davis