Drive Angry / Conduite Infernale (Bilingual)
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Take lurid 1970s B movies about fast cars and loose women, add a dash of Nicolas Cage at his most deadpan, and sprinkle CGI and 3D technology on top, and you've got Drive Angry 3D. Damned badass Milton (Cage) literally busts out of hell to rescue his infant granddaughter from a Satan-worshiping cult leader named Jonah King (Billy Burke from the Twilight movies). On his way Milton picks up Piper (Amber Heard), a blond waitress with a bad attitude and a worse boyfriend. But hot on their trail is the Accountant (William Fichtner), a demonic emissary of ambiguous intentions but unstoppable power. From there it's a series of car chases, shootouts, and sex scenes, and sometimes sex scenes that are also shootouts (a bit that was done better, it must be said, in the underrated Shoot 'Em Up). Don't ask for coherence or common sense; this is a movie where pretty much any character's main motivation can be summed up as sheer cussedness. Drive Angry 3D maintains a general sleazy good humor, and Fichtner at least is enjoying himself--he's giving exactly the kind of unexpected, offbeat performance that Cage used to specialize in. (Cage himself is pretty lackluster here, sadly, and wearing one of his worst hairpieces to boot.) This is self-conscious trash; think of it as a companion piece, both in intention and quality, to Quentin Tarentino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse compilation. --Bret Fetzer
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While the plot is not incredibly complex(man escapes hell to rescue his granddaughter from a cult that plans to sacrifice her), it is enjoyable. Packed full of all the guilty pleasures and soon to be classic one liners, Drive Angry will not disappoint the sinner inside you.
Nicolas Cage sure has had way more misses than hits in recent years (Bad Lieutenant and Kick-Ass being the standouts), but I liked his mellow approach to this character. You would think of all movies, this would be the one he would go overboard, but he wisely tones it down a few notches. Amber Heard plays the sidekick role, which she tries to inject with toughness. It didn't always work, but she adds a dose of energy and is quite the babe. Did I say she is hot? The standout by far is William Fichtner as hell's accountant. Basically he is the dude Satan sends out when someone manages to escape. You can tell he is having a great time and like Cage, he doesn't stray into the overacting category.
The 3-D was okay, but for a film that claims to be "Shot in 3-D" I wasn't that impressed. The CGI ranged from good to average, but for a movie like this, I didn't expect it to be polished.
If you liked Planet Terror, Death Proof or Piranha 3-D, you should have a blast with this one. It's cinemas equivalent to greasy fast food among the current Oscar nominated fillet minions.
How is it that every character in the main cast is a total badass? It's because of that that it's hard to dislike anyone in the film including Nicolas Cage. Cage seems a little dull at first. When he mutters the line, "Tell him...I'm comin'!" it sounds a bit stiff and it isn't clear what type of performance Cage is going to give. Milton is actually Cage's most entertaining role since Big Daddy. He makes it seem so natural to be so angry while also being this unstoppable vigilante that just broke out of hell. Amber Heard's Piper comes off like she has a bigger pair of balls than any man she comes in contact with. She isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone and she usually comes out on top. William Fichtner may be the most entertaining part of the cast. He's been sent by the big man downstairs to retrieve Milton and bring him back to hell. His quick wit combined with the tricks he pulls off with that coin he carries around and his practically endless arsenal of superhuman abilities cause all eyes to be glued to him whenever he walks on screen. Then there's Billy Burke whose Jonah King character is a satanic cult leader convinced that he can't be harmed by anything from this earth. Jonah is such a despicable character that you're practically rooting for his character to bite it by the time his wicked plan is about to come to fruition.
In addition to the film's cast, the writing is fairly entertaining as well. If you're familiar with anything Farmer or Lussier have done, you can pretty much expect events in the film to get a little outrageous or extremely outlandish at times. To tell the truth, that's half the charm of their films and what makes them so much fun. Does anyone else remember how people were saying that films like Crank or The Expendables were just kind of fun action films that you didn't have to think hard about? While that statement failed to register with me about those two films since I disliked both immensely, it fits extremely well with films by Farmer and Lussier except their films have a little more of a horror twist to them. The dialogue stood out at times, as well. There's a line Jonah spits out to Piper that went something like, "I could shoot you in the throat right now and watch you gurgle while I eat my morning grapefruit..." Some may consider that terrible, but the way Burke says it and the context it resides in really hit home with me. Cage also delivers a rather standout speech about how he had to watch his daughter suffer in hell while staring into a barrel of fire that is pretty memorable.
The humor in the film slides into the storyline fairly smoothly. Everything from sarcastic one-liners to a rather obese man taking a picture of a naked woman lying on the sidewalk with his cell phone will be sure to get a fair amount of laughs. The coffee scene with Nicolas Cage is just really hilarious. All of that over black coffee and sugar. Todd Farmer's Frank may get the most laughs and audience reaction though, especially once Fichtner's The Accountant shows up. Drive Angry is just able to effectively blend action, comedy, and horror into this exceptionally entertaining film that engrosses your attention from beginning to end.
Drive Angry is just ridiculous fun. It has an incredibly solid cast, an excessive amount of explosions and high octane car chases, and there's enough blood and T&A to satisfy the most deprived R-rated film enthusiasts. The 3D deserves to be mentioned, as well. Having shotgun shells, severed limbs, various amounts of debris, and a countless amount of bullets practically fall into your lap should be a good enough reason to see this film in theaters. Drive Angry actually being an extremely satisfying and extraordinary action film is just a bonus.
And to Emphasize the fun side: the title of this film comes from the Bill Murray film GROUND HOG DAY , where Bill tells Phil not to Drive Angry before he goes off the cliff.
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