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MOVIE REVIEW: Drive Angry

Nicolas Cage's latest is so bad it's good

  • (L-R) David Morse and Nicolas Cage as Milton in "Drive Angry."
  • William Fichtner as The Accountant in "Drive Angry."
  • Amber Heard as Piper in "Drive Angry."
  • Nicolas Cage as Milton in "Drive Angry."
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You know that old classic car your uncle has sitting in the backyard collecting rust? You take it out for a spin and it barely runs, sometimes stalls and ends up crapping out on the side of the road. You try debate whether you should throw thousands of dollars into restoring it and putting some Detroit muscle back into the car. Well, that’s kind of like Nicolas Cage’s career. This is a man that used to get Oscar nominations and do interesting work.

Cage madeRacing with the Moon with Sean Penn, and Penn has called him out for the horrible films he’s done recently.And Racing with the Moon is a title that would’ve worked for this movie. It’s certainly a lot better than Drive Angry. Although, Drive Angry does work better than the last movie I saw Cage in …Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans. I’m guessing the theaters ran out of letters for their marquee on that one.

Here’s the premise: Nicolas Cage escapes from Hell to save his granddaughter. His daughter was murdered by a cult leader and at the next full moon they plan to sacrifice the baby.William Fichtner, always an interesting character, plays the man from Hell sent to bring Cage back.The cast is rounded out by Amber Heard (Zombieland) as the hot and sassy waitress.

This is the type of movie that’s porn to Quentin Tarantino. It’s a grindhouse picture that purposely goes over the top with nudity and gratuitous violence.If you had fun with a movie like Piranha 3-D or Machete, this is right up your alley. I mean, who doesn’t think it’s cool to see Cage sleeping with a waitress at the “Bull by the Balls” bar, and as 10 people break into his room he shoots them while she’s on top of him. A bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand, gun in the other; cigar dangling from the mouth…and April Wine’s "I Like to Rock" blasting on the stereo (How was Charlie Sheen not cast in this role?)

It’s a shame they drove so “angry” in this movie because I loved all the cars. Things started off with a ’69 Charger and when that got ruined, Cage had a choice between a Chevelle or Camaro.The music in the movie was as cool as the cars. There'sT. Rex, The Raveonettes, Everlast, and the perfect singer for the gorgeous waitress that’s done taking abuse early in the movie – Peaches.

And since they’re driving through Louisiana, we get to see the typical crazy rednecks causing trouble and getting killed in a variety of ways (one with a Louisville Slugger stuck in his eye. In fact, there are a lot of eye injuries in this one).

Director Patrick Lussier is the guy who has given us My Bloody Valentine 3-D, White Noise 2, Dracula 3, Prophecy 3…and will probably give us many more films with numbers in the title. He seems to do these movies well.

The 3-D actually did add a lot to what you were watching, and a few times things did fly off the screen at you.

I was enjoying the ride – for the first 30 minutes. It got a bit repetitive after that, though. The cliché “It’s so bad it’s good” does apply.

I was most excited to see character actor Pruitt Taylor Vince pop up as an angry bartender (he’s often angry in movies). He’s the Baton Rouge native who has had parts in JFK, the underrated Paul Newman movie Nobody’s Fool, the underrated Natalie Portman movie Beautiful Girls; and a great little independent movie called Heavy from the mid-'90s (more notable for starring Liv Tyler and Deborah Harry).

If you even entertain the notion of seeing a Nicolas Cage movie, you won’t be disappointed.

I can’t go higher than a D+, although I had a good ol’ time for most of the ride.