Monday, August 8, 2011

REVIEW: Drive Angry (2011)

Nicolas Cage…never featured him too much on this blog, have we?! This is Drive Angry.

Director: Patrick Lussier
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner

This film is just completely insane and over the top, and I love it. There’s nothing subtle or artistic about this. Drive Angry is just complete macho shlock complete with tons of boobs and sex, tons of gore and tons of satanic pentagrams and explosions. It’s like someone just went “hey, I want to make the manliest, most unabashedly cool thing ever,” and then director Patrick Lussier (White Noise 2? Seriously, when did he get so good?) came along, scrapped it and made it TEN TIMES MORE AWESOME THAN IT WAS BEFORE. Drive Angry is the living, breathing embodiment of all things masculine. It’s retarded, it’s as overtly non-subtle as a brick to the face and it’s cheesy as hell, but these things are the reasons it is an amazing film. I mean how many other times are you going to see Nic Cage doing a chick in bed and simultaneously having a shoot-out with a bunch of thugs WHILE STILL SLEEPING WITH THE WOMAN. Just wanted to clarify that. It is ridiculous. But it is also great. This movie suggests that perhaps those two things are one in the same at times.

And honestly, it’s not a poorly done film. I found myself hooked to the screen by the snappy plot (about a father looking for his daughter and getting mixed up in a cult wanting to end the world), and Cage was a lot of fun in this. The other standout performance was William Fichtner as The Accountant, this crazy dude who pretty much goes around destroying everything in his way to get to Cage. I won’t spoil why, but his lines are awesome and he really has some great charisma and style. He plays it very cool and classy, and very confident, too, but you can tell this is not a guy you mess with no matter what. I mean…just take a look at this quote:

Cap: No God damn way! No ff-in lovin' way in God's good heaven, are you an FBI agent!

The Accountant: I need you boys to stand down. Captain, you know what this badge means, right? Federal Bureau of get the FUCK out of my way!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Fichtner is great and I think we need to see him in some more roles, stat. Awesome, awesome performance.

Aside from that, yeah, Drive Angry rules. I could tell everyone was really having a ball making this movie, which is another reason why I enjoyed it so much. Maybe the second half was a little weaker than the first, but there’s still just so much good stuff in every bit of this movie that I’m surprised it got such a lukewarm reception. Maybe people are just so used to seeing lame Nicolas Cage movies that they no longer realize when a really good one has been shoved in front of them. Maybe they just didn’t get the full unabashed cheese and over-the-top attitude the film pretty much lived and breathed, and that put them off. I don’t know. But it’s a great, enjoyable action movie and one of the better ones in theaters this year. Drive Angry is ballsy, completely unhinged, demonically entertaining and all around enjoyable as hell. Full marks would have been awarded, however, if we got a trademark Cage-style freak out…