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I’ll see Nicholas Cage in anything. An-y-thing. I don’t care if he’s playing two struggling writers who are brothers, or if he’s screaming against wearing a helmet full of bees, if Nic Cage is in it, it’s going to be a blast. That said, I’d much rather see him in the former kind of film (Adaptation) than the latter (the abysmal The Wicker Man). Drive Angry, unfortunately, is the latter kind of film, and it’s a shame, too, because Nic Cage gives it his all. Too bad his all can’t make up for a godawful script and an ass-picking plot.
Nic Cage’s action-hero career has always perplexed me for two reasons. One: Nic Cage is a seriously talented actor, and when he does drama, he normally knocks it out the park, so why doesn’t he just stick with drama? And two: Nic Cage, despite how many times he might snarl or grow out his hair, has never really looked like an action hero at all. Sure, he was awesome in movies like Con Air, because, well, Con Air was awesome. But most times, whenever he straps on leather or shoots an absurdly large gun at something, it’s ridiculous. And it just doesn’t make any sense why he would waste his time with something like Season of the Witch, or this piece of garbage, when he has an Oscar sitting at home for Leaving Las Vegas. I just don’t get it.
With that out the way, let me tear this film apart. Drive Angry sucks because it’s not consistent with its excessiveness. Early on, the film gets it right by having Cage wearing sunglasses and delivering lines like, “Hell’s already walking the Earth,” before he blows up a car for no apparent reason. That’s cool! It’s also cool when he bangs some waitress while smoking a cigar. Vintage badass right there. But you know what? After those two scenes, it gets all talky and boring, and the plot takes a further downturn when William Fichtner, who plays a character called The Accountant, comes into the movie. He’s from Hell and he’s trying to bring Nic Cage’s character back to Hell with him. But every time he’s on the screen, you know something stupid is going to happen. Like him flipping a quarter in the air only for him to catch it and it turns into an FBI badge. A hur hur hur! You tricked me there, movie. Just awful. And the action is second-rate and pedestrian. In a movie like Machete, it went balls to walls at every scene. But in this movie, it’s all patched together shoddily, and the 3D techniques are stupid and abused. On a non-3D TV, it just looks like one big gimmick after the other. Pass.
What makes matters worse is Nic Cage’s character, John Milton. He can’t die since he’s already dead. This lowers the stakes tremendously, and you never worry if he’s going to make it or not because he can always just come back again if he dies. So what’s the point of caring? There isn’t one. Also, the bad guy in the film is so lame that they even had to put a soul patch on him just to make you hate him.
Overall, Drive Angry is a piece of shit. The only reason it’s getting two stars at all is because Nic cage is in it, and no Nic Cage film deserves a single star. Not even Next. And while this may not be the worst Nic Cage movie ever (Bangkok Dangerous has it beaten), it’s up there. See it if you’re a fan of Nic. But if you aren’t, toss it to the dogs.
What would an awful movie be without awful special features? There’s commentary on here, but it’s a pain to listen to. The director, Patrick Lussier, had what sounds like strep throat or a cold when he recorded it, so it’s annoying to even listen to him. What. The. Hell? Did he and the co-writer, Todd Farmer, have to do it on that day when he was sick? Maybe they did, but you just wish they would have left the commentary off the disc altogether if they knew it was going to sound this bad. Also, they talk about absolutely nothing at all. They actually have the stones to say that the performances in this film (other than Cage’s) are even worth your time. Are they serious? What a joke.
There are also two deleted scenes, but they’re worthless. Obviously, they were tacked on just so some poor sap could look at the back of the box and think they were getting something worthwhile. Well, guess what? You’re not. Finally, there’s the “Access: Drive Angry” feature, which has pop ups of trivia during the film that so many of these damn Blu-rays are putting out there nowadays. It’s a lot of non-interesting tidbits, aside from the fact that the movie got its title from the far superior film, Groundhog Day. Rent Drive Angry if you like Nic Cage, but don’t buy it. If I haven’t said it enough, this movie is a piece of garbage and it should be obliterated from the Earth. Avoid, avoid. avoid. [Or you could just rewatch Groundhog Day. - Ed.]
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