Keep Your Hands At Ten and Two
[Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke, David Morse]
image from GeekTyrant.com
RANT: My computer is fixed and movie-going is in full swing. March is days away and the first batch of pre-Summer blockbusters is soon upon us. Battle: Los Angeles, Sucker Punch and Rango to name a few. As I have said before, March is the new proving ground for blockbusters that try to beat the Summer heat.
SYNOPSIS: A bad man escapes from Hell's prisons in order to save his infant granddaughter from being sacrificed during the full Moon by a satanic cult.
Horror flick director Patrick Lussier seems to be right at home in three dimension cinema. Making his chops with My Bloody Valentine 3D, Lussier ups his game by shooting Nicolas Cage's new vehicle - no pun intended - using 3D cameras. A typical revenge shoot-em up with plenty of guns, explosions and car chases, the 3D is both novel and excellent. Every kicked up leaf from the tires of a growling muscle car, every blade of tall grass in the foreground, every speck of dust leaps off the screen. Every bullet, hatchet, mangled car part and baseball bat explodes into the audience. 3D had become a joke again after Avatar, but Drive Angry (and Sanctum earlier this season) shows that 3D has a place in cinema.
Aside from the 3D, Drive Angry follows all of the tenets of a typical revenge flick, albeit one where the main character escapes from Hell. Nicolas Cage plays Milton, a man sentenced to an eternity in the prisons of hellfire watching the pain that his actions continue to cause those he holds dear. He comes back to the plane of the living to hunt down the cult leader that killed his daughter and plans to sacrifice his daughter's infant girl to Satan. The gun flights and ammo is plentiful, the car chases squealing and long, the body count high. Everything you want in this genre of film. Even though shot in 3D, Cage's Milton is more one-dimensional. Sure, he is driven and focused, but the connection to him is weak.
On the other hand, the Devil's Accountant (William Fichtner) comes to screen with a calm and cool demeanor. Tasked to chase down Milton, the Accountant imposes himself directly into any situation - from tapping an impaled broken bat handle into a man's shoulder with the other half of the bat, to surfing on a speeding hydrogen tanker truck - he is hilarious and fun to watch. Cult leader Jonah King (Billy Burke) seems like an after thought in comparison. King seems to be more of a plot device to have something for Milton to chase after. Don't get me wrong, Burke does the character justice, but he would definitely be more center stage in a film about Waco. Rounding out the cast is Amber Heard as the new woman in Milton's life, Piper. She's a little spitfire tired of waiting for her life to start, and recognizing Milton as a chance to make a change.
Drive Angry 3D has most of the ingredients to be a fun popcorn action outing. The 3D is outstanding for a film of this type. If you are a fan of good 3D and action, this may be worth your money. Just know that it does not have the finesse of Clive Owen's Shoot 'Em Up, and does not offer anything new from Nicolas Cage's bag of tricks.
Worth: Matinee or Netflix
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