Drive Angry showcases Cage at his best

Nicolas Cage is one of those actors that doesn’t nearly get the respect he deserves. He’s an actor people like to pick on or make jokes about, but those are usually people that only know one side of Nicolas Cage. They only know Cage as the guy from National Treasure, The Rock, Con Air, or Ghost Rider. Few experience the other side of Cage with movies like The Weather Man, Vampire’s Kiss, Adaptation, Red Rock West, or The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, and that’s quite unfortunate.

I, for one, am I a HUGE fan of Nic Cage. In fact, he’s probably my favorite actor. I love all the aforementioned films, all for different reasons. In a great movie, Cage can be great. Raising Arizona and Leaving Las Vegas are prime examples. In bad movies though, Cage really shines. The man can go over the top without even trying and that’s what makes him such a joy to watch. Movies like The Wicker Man and Ghost Rider are pretty awful but Cage is superb.

Cage can tell when a movie is going to be bad or when it’s going to be good and he acts accordingly. Either way, he’s sure to entertain the hell out of you.

The toughest thing to gauge with a Cage film is whether the filmmakers are trying to genuinely make a good film that turns out bad, or if they’re trying to make a purposely-silly B-type film. With a movie like The Wicker Man, I believe they honestly were shooting for a good movie but ended up with crap, which allowed Cage to go nuts with it. His newest film though, hits exactly what it aims for.

Drive Angry 3D has one purpose and that’s to make an over the top, grind house B-movie, that’s a throwback to classic 70’s car films like Vanishing Point and that pushes the limits of decency. Boy does it succeed. Drive Angry 3D is 100% outrageous and it’s wants you to know it. The goal is to offend and offend well. Mission accomplished.

The first thought to pop in my head after viewing this film was: “holy crap, that was freakin’ awesome!” Cage is a total BA in this movie as he carries a shotgun and barrels down the highway is a ’69 Charger chasing down the leader of a cult that has kidnapped his granddaughter with plans to sacrifice her to Satan.

Along the way Cage teams up with a sexy waitress played by Amber Heard who is more than capable of holding her own. Heard is sure to quickly become a favorite of fans of the horror genre as she’s previously starred in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and she’s currently the star of horror legend John Carpenter’s newest film, The Ward. General audiences are more likely to remember her as Seth Rogen’s high school girlfriend in Pineapple Express.

On their chase they encounter a few road bumps, mainly from the Accountant, played by William Fichtner, who is out to bring Cage back to where he escaped from. As great as Cage is, Fichtner steals the show while being cool, calm, and collective, but still effing things up.

Usually I’m not a fan of lots of 3D or CGI, but this movie excels in both categories. The 3D is actually great and enhances the movie going experience. The car chases and crashes are epic and the dialogue is so beyond ridiculously cheesy that I can’t help but love.

Drive Angry 3D is the best movie going experience I’ve had since Inglorious Basterds. If you’re a fan of films like Death Proof or Vanishing Point, I highly suggest that you check this out. You won’t be disappointed.

Drive Angry 3D is an instant B-movie, car film classic that most people won’t see, but they should. If a guy like Quentin Tarantino directed it, the masses would love it. Give it a chance and know what to expect and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Chris Coffel

My name is Chris Coffel from Phoenix, Arizona. I love film and the Phoenix Suns. I write movie reviews for Trashwire and write about the Phoenix Suns for Downtown Phoenix Journal. I'm also the co-host of a movie podcast focusing on fringe cinema, the Dark of the Matinee. Please subscribe to my show on iTunes. I write about the Suns here: downtownphoenixjournal.com I make movies here: youtube.com/phxpro I talk about movies here: facebook.com/darkofthematineepodcast

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1 Response

  1. Travis Mills says:

    Chris,

    I’m glad to see someone sticking up for Nicolas Cage. For me, he is the only actor in America who excites me about cinema, just as much as my favorite filmmakers.

    Travis.

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