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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Nicolas Cage
Amber Heard
William Fichtner
Billy Burke
David Morse.
Directors
Patrick Lussier.
Screenwriters
Patrick Lussier
Todd Farmer.
Running Time
133 minutes

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Drive Angry
Nic Cage. Road rage. Fails to engage.


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Plot
When his daughter is killed by Satanists, who then kidnap his baby granddaughter to sacrifice her and bring about the end of the world, Milton (Cage) breaks out of hell and hits the road in an attempt to save her life. He's accompanied by a sexy waitress (Heard) and pursued throughout by The Accountant (Fichtner), the Devil's right-hand man...


Review
Drive Angry
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Drive Angry ("in 3D") is the cinematic equivalent of an open goal. It has all the elements for entry to the grindhouse hall of fame: fast cars, nude women, ludicrous action, Nic Cage, Satan worshippers, lines like, “You don’t know pain until you’ve seen someone pull your daughter’s head off”, Nic Cage’s hair, car chases, a bad guy who has a walking-stick fashioned out of a human femur, William Fichtner and a plot involving its hero breaking out of hell. Let’s repeat that, shall we? He breaks out of hell.

Like we said, open goal. All that’s left is for the director to stroke it into the back of the net. Instead, he ballooned it over the bar, Brian. For Drive Angry is a mirthless mess. The car chases — not as numerous as you’d think — are pedestrian, so lacking in speed that it might be better if Cage got out and pushed. The deliberately winking attempts at excess — a Shoot ’Em Up sex scene-cum-gun battle — are overblown, while there’s a curiously drab atmosphere throughout.

In fact, Drive Angry commits a cardinal sin for a film of this type: it’s dull. Had Cage shown up in bulging-eyed Bad Lieutenant mode, it may have helped, but he’s on auto-pilot, sleepwalking through with a glazed expression that suggests this is for the IRS. Even his hair (a shabby variation on Con Air and Sorcerer’s Apprentice) disappoints.

Thank God, or the other fella, for Fichtner. Long one of Hollywood’s best supporting actors, here his off-kilter, Walkenesque lines and ironic detachment are electric. When he’s on screen, Drive Angry hits the gas and nails the tone it should have throughout. Quick, someone give this man his own vehicle.


Verdict
A shambling, ponderous mess that aims to be a trashy cult classic and merely ends up in the trash - Fichtner aside. And, in the biggest disappointment of all, there's not even that much angry driving in it.


Reviewed by Chris Hewitt

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Drive Angry
Empire Star Rating

Drive Angry Review

It may deliver the over-the-top action pieces, but Drive Angry prefers to work safely within grindhouse formula than do something truly unique. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 14:06, 14 February 2012 | Report This Post


Drive Angry: Review

Drive Angry is a very good film. It had a good story, the cast did a good performance for their character and the film was over-the-top action. My only complaint about the film is some things in the film are just a bit way to over-the-top. A truly enjoyable film with guns, blood & sex. I would recommend to go see this film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward9630 at 00:58, 17 August 2011 | Report This Post


Awful. Just awful in every way! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fraser1978 at 20:32, 04 July 2011 | Report This Post


even with beer it's bad

An awful, shambolic, repugnant mess of a film. How dare they release such a swine of a film. 133 mins of my life down the crapper. Cheers Patrick Lussier. Plus there were 2 of 'em on script duties! Doubly unforgivable. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lelandmeeks at 06:50, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Daft and enjoyable.. that'll do pig.

Films which try hard to be old-style exploitation films don’t often work, and Drive Angry is a case in point, though I will say that it’s a million times better than the atrocious Death Proof.  At least this movie is pretty entertaining if you switch your brain off, chugging along at a reasonable pace giving you plenty of bloody action along the way, all in a tongue in cheek way which means that it’s sometimes funny but suffers, as do many movies like this which try to imitate 70s Dr... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 21:19, 16 March 2011 | Report This Post


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