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Drive Angry A Waste of B-Movie Energy, and Of Course 3-D

Drive Angry
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Written by Lussier and Todd Farmer
Summit, 2011

The bad Nicolas Cage train continues, and this time it hurts more than usual.  Mainly because this seemed like the type of movie that could use the insane Nicolas Cage performance, and it looked B-movie-licious: all kinds of ridiculous and twice the fun of an average summer blockbuster.  And shot in 3D no less.

Ahhh…but this does come from the director of the 3D horror remake My Bloody Valentine and a bunch of silly horror sequels (next up: Halloween III), and the writer of Jason X, and My Bloody Valentine, and yes, the upcoming Halloween IIIDrive Angry has shades of being exactly the type of movie that you’d want, but it lacks certain elements of certain grindhouse movies that make them beloved by a small cult of people.  It’s inexcusable Cage downplays his usual go-for-broke insanity here.  In this year’s Season of the Witch, it was somewhat understandable.  Here, it’s not.

Cage is John Milton (of course), a man looking to take his granddaughter back from a cult leader named Jonah King (Billy Burke), a man who killed Milton’s daughter.  Milton is being tracked down by a Grim Reaper character named The Accountant (William Fichtner, easily stealing all of this movie), apparently because Milton has escaped Hell.  That would be an entertaining movie to watch, filled with indescribable, joyous nonsense, but here, we’ve got to watch Milton track down this cult leader, along with the extremely hot walking sex bomb Piper (Amber Heard), who finds herself on the quest after Milton fixes her car and hitches a ride.

The movie is filled with lots of ultra-violence, which is a hallmark of B-movies, but not nearly enough quirks from our main characters to heighten the entertainment.  In B-movies, Piper should have a certain skill, regardless of its plausibility, that helps win the day.  Milton should not be some morose, somber character, either.  He should be driven by revenge and act accordingly.  Why Cage decided that this movie would be the time to underact, I’ll never know.  It’s freaking Cage, man.  The only one who seems to know what this movie is is Fichtner, who is always good in everything he does.  He’s really the only reason to watch this.

Oh, and though the movie is shot in 3D, it’s nearly a complete waste.  Does anyone know what to do with 3D?  I’m wondering how viable a medium this is going to be if this continues to be the trend.

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