“Drive Angry” marks three-straight supernatural films for Nicolas Cage, though each could not be more different. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was a Disney-driven tale of magical realism. “Season of the Witch” dove into the intersection of medieval black magic and campy B-movie wackiness. And “Drive Angry” literally begins with Cage driving a muscle car straight outta hell with the devil’s henchman fast on his heels and doesn’t slow down as it splashes blood and fire across the screen.
All three flicks share something else in common: below-average reviews. “Sorcerer’s” and “Season” each went on to conjure up lukewarm box-office receipts. Can “Drive Angry” break the spell? Check out what the critics are saying and decide if the new 3-D film is the right choice for you this weekend.
“[It] may be a bit too slickly self-aware for its own good, but it’s also rivetingly paced, outrageously funny and makes retina-scorching use of the new 3D technology. Nicolas Cage is on teeth-baring, eye-rolling form as John Milton (nice), the deceased felon who busts out of hell to track down the Southern death cult who kidnapped his baby granddaughter. Hooking up with mouthy muscle-car-driving white-trash waitress Piper (Amber Heard), Milton sets off in pursuit, all the while attempting to avoid the attentions of Satan’s right-hand man, The Accountant (a majestically arch William Fichtner).” — Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Crazy Nic Cage
“A little respect, if you please, for His Satanic Majesty Nicolas Cage. Nobody goes off the deep end like Nic. Nobody gives better value in bad movies than the sleepy-eyed Oscar winner with a gift for picking bad movies. ’Drive Angry’ is a very entertaining B, C or D-movie, an over-the-top and in-your-face grindhouse gore, guns and ’Gun it’ picture that’s about epic shootouts, bone-snapping brawls, bare breasts and muscle cars. The gunplay is funny and the sex hilarious in this ’Ghost Rider is Gone in 60 Seconds’ mashup.” — Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
” ’Drive Angry’ is intensely bloody, violent and carries quite a few payoffs that are well delivered. It’s also a movie you’d actually want to see in 3-D, unlike so many frauds in the marketplace these days. In fact, Lussier, who directed ’My Bloody Valentine 3D,’ shows his growth as a 3-dimensional director by taking ’Drive Angry’ to new heights. Seeing it in Real D, the depth was astounding, and Lussier throws a few CGI tricks right in the viewer’s face. Even more impressive was his flashback sequence that could easily become one of the most influential in the 3-D age (the way he layers three ’thoughts’ at once is mind-blowing visually). In short, it’s worth the extra few bucks.” — Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting
” ’Drive Angry’ is loud and busy, and it’s rarely boring. But it’s also never really good. ’Drive Angry’ comes at the tail end of the grindhouse revival trend, and while it’s better made than films like ’Machete’ or the scores of indie films that followed in Quentin Tarantino’s wake, it succumbs to the same problem so many of those movies do: it’s a movie about the things that the filmmakers think are cool, and that’s never cool. ’Drive Angry’ isn’t about anything, it’s just a series of ideas that struck Lussier and Farmer as awesome, strung together at feature length. There’s a lot of balls in Drive Angry, and even some brains, but no heart.” — Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
The Final Word
” ’Drive Angry’ is, in the end, a genre romp. It’s not aiming any higher than that. But it is made with real skill and style, and there’s such knowledge of genre in the way they have built the script and both embraced and avoided certain conventions that it makes me feel like we’re just seeing Farmer and Lussier warm up. Hopefully they’ll keep working with collaborators as game as their partners in this particular crime, because ’Drive Angry’ is a white-knuckle ride worth taking.” — Drew McWeeny, HitFix
Check out everything we’ve got on “Drive Angry.”
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