{2jtab: Movie Review}

Drive Angry 3D - Movie Review


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4 stars

Bursting forth with the cinematic speed of zooming muscle cars and the urgency of flooding nose bleeds, Drive Angry is a 70’s cinephile’s pleasure.  I’d add “guilty” to that pleasure terminology if the film sucked.  In fact, it does not.  It rocks.  Playful and smart, Drive Angry offers a fresh feast of guts, bullets, and the supernatural for its 3D offering.  This is the second (My Bloody Valentine being the first) and better 3D shot (and not converted) film from the writing/directing team of Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier.  Fans of the exploitation genre have a serious reason to celebrate this ‘heavenly’ revenge flick because even its storyline satisfies in a fun and demented manner.

Escaping from the very depths of Hell to chase down his granddaughters satanic-worshipping kidnappers, Milton (Nicholas Cage) finds himself being hunted by The Accountant (William Fichtner, who practically steals the show as the best incarnation of a bounty hunter-like Jesus Christ), bad guy Jonah King (Billie Burke), and the police, led by Tom Atkins (for all those Horror aficionados out there).  Joined in his effort by the balls-kicking Piper (Amber Heard), Cage discovers that even his edge – the appropriately named God Killer weapon – won’t stop the hell he’s caused.  Over the top with hellish action sequences that both defy logic and popular mechanics, Drive Angry is a robust actioneer that runs right over its audience 1969 Dodge Charger while laughing maniacally as it passes.

Cage is absolutely enjoying this role almost as much as its director is having fun with the 3D aspect of the film (amazing shots of leaves blowing, bullets whizzing by, and female flesh on display).  He’s loose and coolly steeled with a nice supernatural edge that makes his turn at Ghost Rider look like child’s play.  While not entirely cutting loose in the role (until the very end), I have to say that it is refreshing to see – after a multitude of latter day acting disappointments – Cage lose his mind on-screen again.  Heard, as his ass-kicking sidekick, is as beautiful as she is deadly and she superbly captures the gusto of her Southern-charmed character.  The film has fun with playing with her talents and showcases a bit of 3D cleverness associated with her rough-and-ready character.

The 3D, at times, is a bit sleazy but that just gives Drive Angry a bit of a guttural edge to it.  All in all, the 3D is simply amazing and the way certain actors and objects alike are used and positioned in the frames of the footage – showcasing the depth of field – makes the best case in the world for legitimate 3D and not these studio converted 3D films that keep popping up.  A couple of sequences are simply brilliant; one sees the floating three-dimensional moon becoming a headlight and the other, showing a flashback in which Burke drinks the blood from Cage’s sacrificed daughter that is projected onto Cage’s face, reminds me of how this format can be effectively used in cinema.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.  Drive Angry isn’t trying to reinvent the movie-making wheel.  This is pure revenge-driven genre schlock here.  It’s, once again, B-movie magic and, thanks to some great direction from Lussier, never loses its focus as such.  Body parts and bullets fly at the screen in different and amazing ways.  Constantly.

Drive Angry is one hell of a cool ride through eternal damnation.  Be sure to bring your Ray-Bans.


{2jtab: Film Details}

the Dilemma - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language.
: Patrick Lussier
: Todd Farmer, Patrick Lussier
Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard; William Fichtner; Billy Burke, David Morse; Todd Farmer
: Action | Thriller
Memorable Movie Quote:
"Wouldn't wanna be you when Satan finds out! "
Summit Entertainment
Drive Angry
Official Site:
Release Date: February 25, 2011
Blu-ray Release Date:
May 31, 2011

Plot Synopsis: In this newest action horror shot in 3D, a vengeful father (Nicolas Cage) hunts down the people who brutally killed his daughter and kidnapped her baby. As the chase gets bloodier by the mile, his rescue spins out of control, leaving bodies strewn along the highway. Amber Heard (Pineapple Express), Billy Burke (The Twilight Saga), William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) and David Morse (Disturbia) also star. Patrick Lussier directs from the original screenplay he co-wrote with Todd Farmer who previously collaborated with him on My Bloody Valentine 3D.


{2jtab: Blu-ray/DVD Review}

Drive Angry 3D - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

3 Stars

Blu-ray Experience
3.5 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 31, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); Bonus View (PiP)
Playback: Region A )locked)

Summit’s 1080p 1.78:1 widescreen transfer feels a little flat. That’s to be expected, though, as the film was shot and released for 3D exhibition. Reds and blacks are the dominant colors throughout the feature and are bold and loud. The action scenes are stocked with detail and defining realism. The grittiness is intact, too. True, the HD format leaves some of the special effects – especially in 2D – a little obvious, but, with a rockin’ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack behind it, Drive Angry is a powerful little grindhouse rock and schlock experience.



  • Writer Todd Farmer and director Patrick Lussier provide the film’s sole commentary track.  They drop a wealth of knowledge about the shooting of the film and how it came together.  Unfortunately, Lussier was sick during the recording of the track and it shows.  His voice is hoarse, so the track does test your patience a bit.

Special Features:

Well, there isn’t a lot.  None of that back story the film hints at is included here.  There are two deleted scenes, but they are so brief their inclusion as “special features” is laughable at best.  Sony adds a PIP feature – which is fun – to their U-Access format with entertaining results.  It’s a fun ride, but it could have been better.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Two Deleted Scenes (1 min)
  • Access: Drive Angry


{2jtab: Trailer}