Cage aims for thrill ride

Lots of ac­tion but messy plot in OTT re­venge tale “Breaks out of the un­der­world” “Col­lec­tor of hu­man souls”

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - BIG SCREEN - By Da­mon Smith

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.

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