Drive Angry 3D
Almost unspeakably arrogant, Drive Angry 3D is a film that knows what it likes, and isn’t ashamed to tell you and then punch you in the face. You’re naked at the time. And on the hood of a bitchin’ car screaming its way down a road that’s on fire. And Drive Angry will probably have sex with you after. That’s just the way it is.
OK, so, the premise; Nic Cage and his ANGRY EYES have come back FROM HELL to get REVENGE on a CULT that KILLED his DAUGHTER, but he’s also picked up SOME CHICK with LONG THIGHS to help him DRIVE ABOUT and SHOOT EVERYONE with A BIG GUN that can literally kill DEATH ITSELF – which is handy because Death Itself is ON HIS TRAIL and determined to drag him BACK TO HELL. Luckily, everyone knows that most arguments can be sorted via the ancient art of MASSIVE CARS and MORE DRIVING ABOUT before the CULT SACRIFICE that takes place will DESTROY THE WORLD. All Nic can do is SET EVERYTHING ON FIRE and HAVE SEX A BIT AS WELL; its the only hope for his GRANDDAUGHTER who is going to get BLOODY WELL KILLED BY THAT CULT I MENTIONED.
If you’re not now foaming out of your every orifice, Drive Angry 3D isn’t for you. If what you just read was the only film you ever hoped to watch, then welcome home. I’d say strap yourself in and enjoy the ride, but don’t bother. In these cars, safety belts have been exchanged for having sex with waitresses. And instead of roads, we’ve got… well, roads. But roads that explode at the drop of a conveniently placed hydrogen tanker, taking out everything in its path except you and, luckily, your waitress.
Drive Angry 3D’s utter dependence on the supremely ridiculous is both its saving grace and its downfall; it means that you’re running completely and only on adrenaline from the word go. In itself this isn’t a problem – hell, it’s great fun – but it has to be said that the action begins to sag towards the last third of the film and, as there’s nothing else to the premise except action, you can’t help but notice. If the first two-thirds of Drive Angry 3D is non-stop feast of death-sweets, the final third is the inevitable sugar crash.
It doesn’t help that Nic Cage – famous for his brilliantly frenzied rants – hardly bothers to put in a performance at all; he growls and mutters his way through through the mayhem with a portrayal of a bad-man-gone-good that is never quite sardonic but never quite ridiculous either. Instead, William Fichtner absolutely steals the show as “The Accountant”; the sharp-suited supernatural creature determined to bring Cage back to the underworld. His every witty, sharp and gloriously tongue-in-cheek exchange with Cage elevates not only Nic’s performance but the film as a whole. Amber Heard also excels as Hot Chick With Attitude; bringing humour, spark and genuine fury to a role that could have been yawningly throwaway. It’s just a shame there isn’t nearly as much of these two as there is of the po-faced Cage. Come on Nic, you’ve literally escaped from Hell with a gun that can kill death. Without any explanation whatsoever. You can get shot in the face (SPOILER: and you will) and you WON’T DIE because the rules of death no longer apply to you. Women with eyes are telling you you are handsome. Which of these ideas is the most far-fetched is anyone’s guess, but that’s beside the point.
All in all, it’s difficult to say whether Drive Angry 3D is a brilliant bit of tongue-in-cheek Grindhouse satire, a fundamentally stupid and pretty offensive crash-em-and-slash-em wet dream or just a disposable bit of high-octane fun. I recommend you just wriggle into the greasy space between all three and bloody (shaggy, shooty) well enjoy it.