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March 7, 2011

Movie Review: Drive Angry 3D (2011)

Blood, boobs and brutal violence—the three key ingredients to your typical Hollywood “guy flick”—and in the case of Drive Angry 3D, one hell of an action-packed thrill ride. Todd farmer and Patrick Lussier have come together to create one of the best 3D-enhanced movies since the explosion of the latest triple-dimensional trend in cinema. 

Buy Drive Angry on DVD or Blu-ray

Every year, moviegoers are force-fed an unnecessary dose of that extra dimension. Sure it’s cool to be looking down the larger-than-life barrel of a shotgun, or have the debris from a massive explosion come flying within centimeters of your face, but in some movies it just isn’t necessary. Lussier did it right, utilizing the 3D element to amplify every mindlessly awesome visual aspect of the film. 

The movie stars rising actress Amber Heard alongside none other than the action star—who rarely actually acts—Nicholas Cage. And as with any movie that stars Cage, it’s truly nice to know what you’re getting into, as there is less of a chance of disappointment. There is never any real action with Cage, as his performance is naturally dry and monotone. In the case of Drive Angry, Cage’s inalterable screen presence works to his advantage.

Cage plays John Milton, an ex-criminal who was killed and sentenced to hell for his wrong doings during his time on earth. John’s daughter, who was 16 at the time of John’s death, joined a satanic cult, and was murdered along with her husband. Their daughter (Milton’s granddaughter) is kidnapped by the cult, the leader of which plans to sacrifice the infant to the god of darkness during the next full moon. 

Milton somehow manages to escape from hell to seek vengeance against his daughter’s killers, and rescue his granddaughter from the cult before she is sacrificed. Enter Amber Heard—your typical pretty, blonde hickish girl-next-door type… Only this girl can kick some serious butt. Piper (Heard’s character) quits her job as a diner waitress after being threatened and inappropriately groped by her boss. She takes off in a ’69 Charger in Daisy Duke cut-offs and cowboy boots belting out to lyrics to controversial singer Peaches’ sexually explicit hit, F**k the Pain Away.

Not only does Heard’s talent and natural beauty shine through every role she plays, but in Drive Angry, she portrays an incredibly empowered woman, who makes it crystal clear that no man will push her around. And watching her mess people up in this movie is almost as entertaining as it gets. Nicholas Cage drones out a few chuckle-inducing one-liners that, like in The Weatherman, actually work really well with his lack of on-screen pzazz. William Fichtner plays the (devil’s) Accountant, sent from the big man himself up to earth to put Milton back in his place in hell. As one can only really expect from Satan’s second-hand man, Milton instigates some serious chaos, also doing his fair share of kickin’ butts and taking names. 

The score features some adrenaline pumping tracks that really rev up the non-stop action in the movie. Composer Michael Wandmacher created 29 tracks that, like the countless gun blasts and explosions in the movie, roll up on the audience with sucker-punch impact. The movie also features favourite classic-rock tracks from Canadian bands such as Trooper and April Wine, as well as a few other musical talents such as Everlast, KC & the Sunshine Band and Peaches. 

If you’re looking for an all-around good time at the theatre, and have a couple of hours to waste a few brain cells on mindless madness and moronic humour, check out Drive Angry 3D and you likely will not be disappointed.

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