***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Drive Angry - 3 out of 5
I don't know if I would go as far as saying that this film was driving under the influence of anger because, when the credits rolled, it felt like more it was driving slightly irritated.
Nicolas Cage is back and once again escaping the realm of Hell on a mission of vengeance. However, he's not playing Johnny Blaze on a hellspawned motorcycle with a flaming skull, instead, he's a guy named Milton out to take down a cult leader (played by Billy Burke) who killed his daughter and is out to sacrifice his granddaughter in the name of Satan. However, the Big Guy Down Below doesn't want his tortured souls getting away so he sends one of his minions (called The Accountant) to retrieve Milton.
Drive Angry, from its trailer, promises a slick action-packed punch in the face--which it delivers--but the low quality it presents on the screen made me wonder how it got national theater release when it looks like a direct-to-DVD film. Now, I know Nic Cage has a reputation of being nearly entirely loathed by the popular media (but he still able to get roles) and, I will admit, sometimes the hate on the man is justified (for example, The Wicker Man). But sometimes Nic does entertaining films too (for example, I really enjoy The National Treasure films). There's basically a spectrum that Cage runs. He can either be very annoying, passable, decent or good. In Drive Angry, he's passable. He doesn't bring much to the role that a dozen other actors couldn't have done but at least he's not screaming, "NOT THE BEES!!!" Another aspect of the film that is reminiscent of Cage's acting ability is the special effects. At times, the special effects will look amazing (like a scene where an eye regenerates after being obliterated) and then there are times you will laugh, scratch your head and wonder if the only reason they allowed that in the film was because the budget ran out. However, unlike Cage's acting, the special effects will run all over this spectrum through out the entire film--at least Cage will choose to be either good or bad and change it up from film to film, he doesn't start bad, get good and go back to bad in one movie.
While the movie does offer some alright and halfway decent action sequences, there is one aspect of the movie that nearly made me give it a higher rating despite the mediocre story, alright action and terrible (sometimes good) special effects. And that is William Fichtner playing The Accountant. Fichtner is a great character actor and he tears it up as the Devil's henchman. His screen presence is so great that his scenes steal the movie and I actually wanted the entire film done from his perspective as he hunted down Milton.
Mysteriously, Drive Angry got a theater release (let's be honest, it was because they put it in 3D) but, like I said, the film looks like it was a direct-to-DVD release. While the story is okay and is basically what you would expect going in, the mediocre action sequences and (I have to say it again) terrible special effects keep this movie from being one of those guilty pleasures that your sophisticated side will hate--you know the side, the kind that wants creativity and art in their films, the side that loves Citizen Kane. And even though it doesn't become one of those movies that makes you say, "oooo, a pretty explosion," the fact that William Fichtner delivers like a boss is enough reason to give it at least one view.