Cage aims for thrill ride
Lots of action but messy plot in OTT revenge tale “Breaks out of the underworld” “Collector of human souls”
HELL hath no fury like a father scorned in Patrick Lussier’s outlandish revenge thriller, which was shot in 3D to add depth to the overblown action sequences. Lussier and co-writer Todd Farmer don’t have any patience for realism or subtlety, not when they can defy the laws of physics to contrive an explosive setpiece that will rattle the fillings in viewers’ heads. They embrace sexual equality in the punch-ups, doling out as many body blows to feisty female protagonists as their male counterparts. Drive Angry is a 104-minute thrill ride, which keeps the adrenaline pumping with a volatile cocktail of gun fights, sex, car chases and foul-mouthed one-liners. In one hilarious set-up reminiscent of the 2007 Clive Owen film Shoot ‘Em Up, we’re treated to a brutal skirmish midway through a lovemaking session, with Nicolas Cage’s assassin battering the bad guys with a naked female companion clamped around his waist. Milton (Nicolas Cage) is condemned to purgatory, from where he must watch in agony as his beloved daughter falls into the clutches of demonic cult leader Jonah King (Billy Burke), and is murdered for her baby girl. Jonah intends to use the infant as a sacrifice to raise Satan’s army. “First full moon, she’s dead and all Hell’s gonna walk the Earth,” growls Milton, who breaks out of the underworld to stop the cult leader and rescue his granddaughter. Milton heads for a diner where he flirts with sex-starved waitress Norma Jean (Katy Mixon) and then thumbs a lift with her colleague, Piper (Amber Heard), who is trapped in an abusive relationship. Milton helps to rescue the young woman from the beatings and she joins him on a quest to track down Jonah King and rescue the innocent infant. Meanwhile, the Devil dispatches one of his minions, The Accountant (William Fichtner), to hunt down Milton and return him to the inferno. Drive Angry 3D is a hoot, as long as you down-shift your brain into neutral and submit to the endless barrage of obscenities and gratuitous violence. Cage and Heard are a formidable double act, the latter earning her spurs during a bonecrunching brawl in the back of a moving Winnebago. Fichtner relishes the choicest lines of dialogue as a collector of human souls, who can foresee the future for mortals
who cross his path. “I’ll see you again when you’re 73,” he tells one relieved teenager. “I’ll see you in three months,” he adds to the youngster’s terrified pal. The plot is as messy as some of the set-pieces and there’s very little acting involved for Oscar-winner Cage, but he seems to be having a blast as everything explodes around him in eye-popping 3D.
PAIR: Amber Heard as Piper and Nicolas Cage as Milton.
LEAD MAN: Nicolas Cage is out for revenge as Milton in Drive Angry 3D.