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Drive Angry Review: Nicolas Cage Comes Back From The Dead In Campy, Corny 3D Movie

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Part ode to 70’s grindhouse cinema, part mindless, unimaginative action trash, Drive Angry 3-D tickles the guilty pleasure long enough to produce a sustainable entertaining experience. There’s plenty of t+a, explosions, and carnage, but eventually this joy ride runs out of gas.

Drive Angry begins with an overly campy sequence filled with numbing violence and cornball dialogue. It’s all intentional of course, and Nicolas Cage, playing Milton is happily to indulge in it. With his ridiculous coif and badass scowl, he dispatches a group of buddies before blowing up their wheels and taking to the road.

He makes a pit stop at a local diner where he meets Piper (Amber Heard), a hot live wire waitress (far too hot to be a diner waitress) who storms out after an altercation with a manager Milton follows her, asking for a ride up town. Piper agrees to drive him to the next county, but that’s all. Milton politely agrees, but when stops and home and walks in on her fiancée having sex with another woman, she goes on the lam, unaware of what may lay ahead.Drive Angry Amber Heard

Soon Piper realizes that she’s in over her head. Apparently Milton is hunting a group of individuals, who are also tracking him. They are a satanic cult, led by Jonah (Billy Burke from Twilight), responsible for murdering his daughter and stealing her baby. Members of the cult first attack the two at a local motel, where Milton proceeds to gun down six armed assailants all while having sex (must be seen to be believed).

Soon the plot twists and Milton is revealed to be a much more complex figure than had first appeared. He’s fatally shot, and yet strangely makes a full recovery. There’s also the mysterious presence of The Accountant (William Fichtner) to be considered, a man with apparent supernatural powers who’s also out to stop our hero in his mission to save the baby. The question is: who will get to the child first?

Drive Angry does best when it plays the campy, fun card. The action is high octane, with plenty of bone crushing fights and thrilling car chases. Director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Tom Farmer also aren’t afraid to push boundaries when it comes to delivering the trashy goods. The nudity is shameless and exploitive, the violence giddily gratuitous. The 3-D is excellent, similar to Lussier’s previous outing, My Bloody Valentine, which also made effective use of the medium. Blood, glass, axes, bullets, and boobs all fly at the screen in three glorious dimensions.

There’s not much else to say about Drive Angry3-D. If you’ve seen any advertisements for this film, you know exactly what you’re getting into here. The whole thing can only be taken on a topical level; it completely collapses under any scrutiny, revealing itself as a collection of ideas and random scenes that don’t come together. That said, Drive Angry is a movie primarily aiming to entertain and deliver the 3-D action goods, and on that level, it’s a marginal success.

Contact Jim Teti at jteti@philly2philly.com

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Photo from Summit Entertainment