Director: Patrick Lussier
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke, David Morse
Every now and then, along comes a film that is totally insane, violent and filled with cheesy dialogue. Drive Angry is one such film.
Nicolas Cage stars as Milton, a man who escapes from Hell with a purpose: to hunt down Jonah King (Billy Burke). King is a satanic cult leader who had murdered Milton's daughter and kidnapped her baby girl, and plans to sacrifice her in a couple of days. Milton has to find King and save his granddaughter before it's too late.
Along the way, he meets Piper (Amber Heard), a gorgeous waitress and subsequently rescues her from her no good boyfriend. Together they pursue King, but the mission isn't easy at all when King is constantly surrounded by his supporters. To top it all off, a bounty hunter from Hell called The Accountant (William Fichtner) is on earth and very determined to bring Milton back.
Patrick Lussier, who directed the similarly bloody My Bloody Valentine, and also shot it in 3D, directs Drive Angry, except this time he trades horror for action. And unlike the former, the latter has a much better cast. Drive Angry is filled with lots of R rated elements like sex, nudity, coarse language and over the top violence, most of which were censored by the local board here. Sigh. It seems only Americans have all the fun.
Cage, who seems to be in almost every film nowadays, plays Milton as the unforgiving badass he should be, with the same Cage drawl we're all accustomed to. But at least it works, and he is never boring to watch. Heard, whom I'm not a fan of, but looks good in all of her scenes, overacts a bit as Piper, but still manages to bring a lot of energy to her role which could have been forgettable. Billy Burke, whom everyone knows as Bella Swan's father in the Twilight films, successfully plays against type here as the villain King, and he is just awesome to watch. Gone are the squeaky clean police uniform, boring moustache and unenthusiastic tone, now it's long hair, sideburns and a Southern accent. Ha. But the real show stealer is Fichtner as The Accountant, who is reminiscent of the detective role he had in What's The Worst That Could Happen? except not as flamboyant. But he's still a riot to watch, oozing with charisma and an equal dose of deadliness.
The fact is, Drive Angry could have been a very fun film, but I felt that even if it had not been censored so badly, it would still have had continuity problems. Certain characters pop in and out for no reason, others are there for the sake of being there only. Plus some of the lines uttered are downright corny and quite laughable, but I suppose if you can suspend your disbelief long enough, you might like that.
Overall, it's a semi-fun way to spend 2 hours, but don't expect anything meaty. If you like Grindhouse type flicks, this is right up your alley. (3.5/5)