Drive Angry (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/02/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Surprisingly dull action flick that's let down by a spiritless performance from Nicolas Cage, a lazy script and a series of tedious action sequences that are at best derivative and at worst downright boring, though it does gain points for a film-stealing turn by William Fichtner.

What's it all about? Directed by Patrick Lussier, Drive Angry (3D) stars Nicolas Cage as Milton (a little joke for the classicists there), a revenge-obsessed gunman who escapes from Hell in order to rescue his granddaughter from murderous satanic cult leader Jonah King (Billy Burke). However, Milton is hotly pursued by The Accountant (William Fichtner), a sinister figure with supernatural powers who intends to drag Milton back to Hell.

Fortunately, Milton manages to stay one step ahead of The Accountant long enough to pick up hot pants-clad waitress Piper (Amber Heard), whose car he has taken a shine to. But will he complete his revenge mission before The Accountant catches up with him?

The Good
There's only one real reason to see Drive Angry and that's William Fichtner, who steals the entire film with a thoroughly enjoyable performance as The Accoutant and nicks all the best lines in the process. Heard is fine for boosting sales of hot pants, but she's still a bit of a blank-faced presence when it comes to acting and she never really sparks with Cage, not that the script gives her much opportunity.

The Bad
You'd have thought that a part like this would have been tailor-made for an enjoyably bonkers Nic Cage performance but he's on disappointingly lacklustre form throughout, almost as if he's having a sulk and only doing the bare minimum as a protest. Similarly, the script is extremely slack, several of the action scenes are actually boring and even the best bits (e.g. Cage having a gunfight mid-coitus) are all ripped off from better films (in this case Shoot-out, which the film closely resembles).

To be fair, the 3D effects are well done, ensuring that there's an object (a tyre, a jaw, etc) flying at you every few minutes or so. However, they're also largely pointless and the gimmicky flying object bits don't make up for the attendant loss in colour, which is a fairly crucial ingredient when it comes to explosions.

Worth seeing?
In short, Drive Angry isn't nearly as much fun as it should have been, thanks to a sluggish script, poorly staged action sequences and a perfunctory performance from Cage. Worth seeing for Fichtner but only just.

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Content updated: 14/12/2017 09:56

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