I pretty much agree with Patrick on this one. I see that it's bombing at the box office, which is easy to understand. GRINDHOUSE and this film try to pay homage to $25,000 movies so they spend $50+ million to do so? I'd love to see these type of bad "B" movies back on the big screen but it looks like producers would see their appeal is slim and cut down on the budgets.
DRIVE ANGRY isn't a good film plain and simple. There's no way to spin it but this is a rather bad movie but I believe that was the intent so how do you rate such a film? If you enjoy those "B" movies from the 70s that would play after midnight at the drive-in then you might find yourself enjoying this Nicolas Cage flick. In the film Cage plays Milton, a man who escapes from Hell and comes to Earth to kill the Satanist (Billy Burke) who slit his daughter's throat and stole her newborn baby. Along the way Milton teams up with a sexy waitress (Amber Heard) as they try to bring down the cult, save the baby and get away from a mysterious figure known simply as The Accountant (William Fichtner). If you're familiar with such films as RACE WITH THE DEVIL, DAUGHTER OF SATAN and countless other horror films that deals with Satan worshipers then you should know where this film is going. Everything you'd expect from a grindhouse picture is here including the car chases, bloody murders, wild sex scenes and of course full frontal nudity. DRIVE ANGRY doesn't try to be a slick blockbuster and it doesn't even try to be a good movie. It sets out to be a trashy throwback and on that level it certainly works but at the same time I think the film falls short due to some simple problems that could have easily been fixed. For starters, the film runs 105-minutes, which is simply way too long for this type of movie. The film likes to gain speed only to slow down and then pick the speed back up. This happens from start to finish so it's hard to get a real good flow going. These slower moments could have easily been edited out and you'd be left with a much more entertaining film. The violence in the film is pretty wild as we get various body parts cut off, heads split open and just about every body part gets shot at least once. Director Lussier knows how to film action sequences and we get some pretty good chases that are certainly going to remind people of those films from the 70s. We get one real trashy sequence where Cage is with some cheap woman in a hotel room having sex with her while at the same time blowing people away. Cage is very laid back here and I'm sure most are going to see the performance and say it's lazy and bad. I think that was done on purpose and it works. Cage isn't trying to give a LEAVING LAS VEGAS type performance. He's just playing a bad mutha and he does fine doing that. Heard is pretty good as the sidekick and Burke does a nice job as the crazed Satanic leader. I thought Fichtner was a lot of fun as the mystery man and it was great seeing David Morse, Tom Atkins and Jack McGee in their roles. The screenplay is pretty basic in terms of story but we certainly didn't need anything ground-breaking here. Again, the film accomplishes what it set out to do but I think a shorter running time would have made it more entertaining because this is certainly a case where less is more. The 3D effects were actually fairly good as we get the typical stuff with blood, body parts and various other things just flying at you. It certainly helped put you in the middle of the action. I'm not typically a fan of 3D but this is one case where it worked well.