Drive Angry 3D is a strange, strange ride. Minutes into the movie I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. Terrible acting and dialogue; physics-defying stunts and Nicolas Cage mimicking Clint Eastwood's minimalist delivery had me expecting the worst. However, I found that once I suspended my disbelief and went along for the supernatural ride, Drive Angry 3D was far more rewarding than it was not.
Cage is Milton, a man searching for his infant granddaughter, taken by a satanic cult. Amber Heard is Piper, who is lovely to look at but difficult to watch as she poorly delivers f-bomb-laden dialogue. By the time Milton and Piper cross paths, I was ready to declare Drive Angry a misogynistic, silly, mess of a movie, albeit one filmed in 3D. But I stuck with it. Soon, Milton and Piper are on the road in a black 1969 Charger (the same make and model featured in the second half of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof). Slowly, I began to pick up on the intended tone of the movie, especially during the scene in which Milton blows away cult members while making love to a naked barmaid, in slow motion no less. When Milton gets tasered, she gets tasered, too, because they're, um, well, you get the idea. It was at this moment that the film's intentions crystallize.
Piper: "Give me one reason I shouldn't blow your head off."
Milton: "I'm driving."
Almost stealing the movie was William Fichtner as the mysterious Accountant, who pursues Milton through the movie. The character delivered some of the movie's best lines while dispatching anyone who got in his way. Eventually, the pieces all fall into place, that is, if you suspend your disbelief and buy into the whole supernatural premise. One final note: I would've found the movie much more satisfying if it didn't have an underlying misogynistic tone throughout. Many of the women in the movie, Piper included, were the victims of severe beatings, violence, and gunfire, some while nude. For me, these moments were almost unbearable and had me wondering if the writers had some serious, unresolved issues with women to deal with.
Rating: THREE BONES
Release Date: February 25th, 2011
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke, Christa Campbell, and Charlotte Ross
Director: Patrick Lussier
Writers: Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer