You know that guy at the bar? He’s a little overweight, kinda homely and not very funny? But by the end of the night he has a group of laughing, hot women around him and you can’t figure out why. Suddenly, you feel the need to go over and hang out too.
That’s Drive Angry. The new Nick Cage film by schlock director Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine remake, Scream 3, The Eye remake). About 30 minutes in, you will be charmed and suddenly feel yourself speeding along in what should be a terrible film and you have no idea why or how it happened.
Lussier, who seems to be a devout follower of the TV show Supernatural as this film is pretty much pulled right from the show, gave a clunky but fun script to four well-known, hovering around B-list actors and told them to go to town. And they did. Hardcore. No one, not you, me the actors or the fucking best boy takes this film seriously. And that’s what saves it.
Cage, as John Milton (as if Lussier’s target audience knows who that is) breaks out of hell to rescue his infant granddaughter from the hands of a cult leader Jonah King played with Southern sleazebag glee by a perpetually open shirted Billy Burke (Twilight series) whose followers are helping him________(fill in B-movie Satan worshipper agenda here).
Cage hooks up with tough chick Piper played by Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, Zombieland) and her cheap Chuck Liddell looking boyfriend’s Charger to take to the backroads and handy industrial film sets of Florida. Their goal is killing cult members in bloody, three dimensional ways.
And that’s about it.
Except for the most important and most enjoyable sub-plot of the film. Hell’s “accountant” played with immense pleasure and complete abandon by a dapper William Fincher (every movie ever made since Strange Days), is after “Milton” to return him to his rightful place in Hell. Which is not all fire and screaming, but some kind of video torture chamber. Yeah. We really didn’t get that either. The Accountant can only be injured by a special gun stolen from hell by Milton. The multi-barreled piece comes with special bullets that destroy demons and gods alike. Just like in Supernatural.
As the Accoutant, Fincher snatches the entire show away from the other actors. Especially in a key scene toward the end where he drives a hydrogen filled truck (this we know because HYDROGEN TRUCK is emblazoned on the side) into a gaggle (? Pride? Flock) of stock state troopers while singing K.C. and the Sunshine band’s That’s the Way I Like It. The scene ends with him stepping out of the truck and into film history as the coolest departure from a vehicle ever.
Make no mistake this is an homage to the 70s style “grindhouse” genre (yes there’s titties, chest hair and even a rather mild dick biting off scene ala I Spit on Your Last House on the Left) that may have come a few years too late to ride the gritty coattails of Tarantino and Rodriguez, but it’s still a fun film.
Lussier forces his hand a few times and pulls back on the shocks in other scenes, but with a sex-gunfight scene that will go down in cult film history, flying jawbones and a garage of car porn lorded over by the OTHER actor in Hollywood David Morse (as “Webster’ as in the Devin and Daniel. Get it?) Drive Angry delivers the cartoon like goods.
About the ending. If you drop acid before entering the theater, you might want to leave before the 1969, velvet poster mind exploding technicolor head explosion. Srsly. This has bad trip flashbacks written all over it.
Yeah the script is terrible, yeah Cage uses this movie to bridge the gap between his Ghost Rider films (Ghost Riders: Spirits of Vengence is filming in Romania) and yeah the 3D is pretty good, but you know what?
We have no idea how that fat dude gets pussy, but he sure is charming.

Related posts: