Drive Angry (2011)
Highway Back to Hell
I suppose technically "Drive Angry" is what it intended to be, gratuitous violence, sex scenes, big action and basically an 104 minute ride of over the top visual entertainment. But the trouble is I didn't like it and the reason why? Well I don't mind style over substance but when the style is not great and the substance is negligible it fails to entertain. And that is what "Drive Angry" is, a lot of action a lot of visual entertainment but short of style and substance.
Having escaped from Hell John Milton (Nicolas Cage - The Sorcerer's Apprentice) is back looking for justice, going after a satanic cult who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter to use as a ritual sacrifice. On his tail is The Accountant (William Fichtner) whose job it is to take him back to hell but helping him on his mission is Piper (Amber Heard - Zombieland), a sexy waitress who John spots in a diner.
So when it comes to plot "Drive Angry" hasn't got one or at least not one which takes much explanation. You can forget all the bits about the pretty Piper who ends up accompanying John and whilst The Accountant provides some ultra cool amusement doesn't add much either. So what that leaves is Milton going after Joseph King and his satanic gang, having to get to him before the full moon to try and save his granddaughter. That is it and in a movie which lasts 104 minutes is extremely slim.
Now instead of story what we get is violence and nudity, more violence and nudity oh and just for good measure some more violence. I know "Drive Angry" comes across exactly how it was intended, an action packed, slightly comical rollercoaster ride which is basically a modern Grindhouse movie. But maybe I've grown up because that is all you get, some gratuitous violence and explicit nudity and it isn't enough. Maybe if the styling had worked, been snappier rather than trying to be John Woo like it would have grabbed me but it didn't feel that stylish.
And then there is the casting because frankly with the exception of William Fichtner as The Accountant giving it ultra cool and quirky there isn't any real acting. Nicolas Cage prowls the movie as tall, sort of mysterious and badly blonde whilst Amber Heard has been cast because she looks smoking hot next to a muscle car. And again it is how it intended to be but for me the characters were uninteresting.
What this all boils down to is that either I've grown out of gratuitous action and nudity or "Drive Angry" was the disappointing movie I thought it was. I am sure if I was 15 years younger I would have loved the popcorn entertainment but now it left me under whelmed as it wasn't even style over substance.
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