Best known for his work in National Treasure, Lord of War, and Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage introduces us to another cinematic mistake – Drive Angry (“in 3D”). Drive Angry is a crazy, few-thrills, juvenile trope of a film.
Nicolas Cage has had a long and uneven career, one perhaps he receives too much flak for. Yet, Drive Angry continues this theme of unevenness with barely adequately executed hyper-violent scenes, a risible dialogue, lascivious scenes that only 14 year old could enjoy, tied in with a distinctive yet still one-dimensional plot.
Our protagonist, John Milton (Nicolas Cage) is an undead criminal armed with Satan’s own shotgun and mission to rescue his daughter’s baby from the same fate as his daughter – executed by a heavily-armed Satanic cult. Milton is being hunted down by The Accountant (William Fletcher), Satan’s own mirthless assassin. At Milton’s side is Piper (Amber Heard), a foul-mouthed former waitress brought along for the ride.
Even aside from the absurd plot, the intricacies of each character are shallow. Milton is on an unwavering quest for revenge and to prevent his granddaughter from becoming the Satanic cult’s next ritualistic sacrifice, a permissible, if not honourable, pursuit. But aside from that, there is nothing else to the character. The same goes for Piper, she’s a waitress that quit, violently split-up from her ex, and was rescued by our protagonist. And whilst this criticism could similarly apply to The Accountant, it shouldn’t, and it doesn’t. The Accountant is a mirthless, beguiling, and sinister character, but due to the nature of his arc, there is no need for him to have deeper character-development.
Maybe some, like myself, are being too harsh on the film. Drive Angry is not supposed to be a realist film, nor is it trying to be some sort of masterpiece. It is a self-aware bloody action film attempting to exploit each cliché there is of the genre. But even this taken into account, it ultimately fails to entertain through its nonsensical inanity. It’s two saving graces are the performance of The Accountant, and its use of aesthetically pleasing classic cars such as 1969 Dodge Charger R/T and the 1957 Chevrolet One-Fifty 1502.