The supernatural grind-house film “Drive Angry” is a movie that is so bad it is actually entertaining. The plot follows Milton (Nicolas Cage), an escaped convict from hell, as he tries to save his daughter’s child from the clutches of a satanic cult led by the nefarious Jonah King (Billy Burke). After hijacking a 1969 Dodge Charger from the sultry waitress Piper (Amber Heard), Milton becomes a fugitive from the law and must race to save his grandchild before she is sacrificed to a full moon. He is also pursued by the enigmatic Accountant (William Fichtner), who is tasked with returning Milton to hell.
Nicolas Cage has got to be one of the nuttiest actors in Hollywood. Cage may be trying to play a straight faced action hero with his character Milton, but he is never afraid to let his manic-lunacy show up on screen. Cage’s cigar chomping Milton has a five man shoot out while entertaining a blond bartender. This over the top sequence is shot in a stylish slow motion and is a perfect example of the film’s black humor. This movie never takes itself too seriously and the actors don’t either. Amber Heard’s Piper plays the sensual tough girl role. She swears like a sailor and isn’t afraid to throw down with the bad guys. Heard gets her fair share of action scenes and exudes a sexy confidence in an otherwise male-heavy cast.
A notable standout in the film is William Fichtner as “The Accountant,” a merchant of death who flips a coin to decide men’s fate. He wears a sleek business suit and is almost completely indestructible to human weaponry. Whenever The Accountant shows up, Milton must reveal his secret weapon called “the god killer.” The angelic shotgun is the only thing that can hurt The Accountant but it will take more than a blast from this firearm to truly stop him. Billy Burke is also good as the cult leader, Jonah King. King is a nasty bad guy posing as a messiah and is the bone staff wielding target of Milton’s vengeance.
This exploitation film is a raunchy, gory, and profanity-laced thrill ride. There are plenty of shoot outs and wild car chases featuring fast muscle cars. There is also a ton of 3D nudity and dark humor. The film has aspirations for becoming a cult-classic, but it ultimately ends up being slightly more than a flawed popcorn flick. The heavy handedness of the poor special effects and wooden dialogue detract from the film’s overall experience . However, not all movies have to be smart. Audiences should just turn their brains off and marvel at the eccentric madness that is Nicolas Cage. The film goes out of the normal Hollywood mold to try out some original ideas, even if all those ideas aren’t well executed.
Paisano rating score C-