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Drive Angry 3D

2011-02-26 00:13
What it's about:

Nicolas Cage is back as Milton, an escapee from hell (Milton? Hell? Geddit?) who has returned to the land of the living to exact nasty revenge on a cult of wacko Satanic worshippers who brutally murdered his daughter and to rescue his kidnapped granddaughter that the cult intend to sacrifice as a way of bringing hell to earth. Only this time without his head bursting into flame.

What we thought:

Nicolas Cage has been on a bit of a winning streak lately with awesome performances in Werner Herzog’s The Bad Lieutenant remake and Kick-Ass, and just before it all comes crashing down in a few weeks with Season of the Witch, we have another chance to see Cage at his demented best. Drive Angry 3D has probably the worst movie title of the year award sewn up, but that's nothing in comparison to just how rotten the film itself is.

It has some really over the top violence, plenty gratuitous nudity and sex and the kind of adolescent badassery that is more embarrassing than, well, bad-ass. And it is also immensely stupid. Here's the thing though: I absolutely loved it. Like Piranha 3D before it, this is (presumably) intentional exploitative trash of the highest order. It's the sort of film that if it was any LESS prurient, nasty and just plain dumb, it would have been very, very bad. As it is, it's just flat-out awesome.

We have Amber Heard for the sex appeal and David Morse for some (ha!) respectability but the film really belongs to two actors. Nic Cage is, as I said, in full on nutso mode – the mode, incidentally, that suits him best. Best of all though is William Fichtner (probably best known for his role as Mahone in Prison Break) as hell's "accountant" who matches Cage's dementedness every step of the way but plays it with a hilarious deadpan viciousness that steals every scene.

As for the script and directing, that seems a bit pointless in this context but, on the other hand, credit does have to go to writers Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier for coming up with increasingly mad situations for our anti-heroes to endure and for the gloriously ripe dialogue as well. And of course, kudos to director Lussier for actually putting all of that into such a stylish and yet puerile package. And in 3D that actually works, to boot.

If only all bad movies were this good!

With its taste for violence, gratuitous nudity and sex, it's fair to say Nicolas Cage has struck movie gold once again.
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