Drive Angry is about Nicolas Cage who returns from hell to avenge the death of his daughter at the hands of a Satanic cult leader, Billy Burke. A hot waitress, Amber Heard, helps him. But an enigmatic killer, William Fichtner, pursues them. Read the review for more.
Business rating: 0.5 star
Star cast: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke.
What’s Good: The action sequences; little else.
What’s Bad: The weak and bizarre script; the average performances.
Verdict: Drive Angry will prove to be a disaster at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: Anytime in the second half, especially when you realise how the film is going to end.
Watch or Not? Watch only if you favour mindless action films.
Millennium Films, Nu Image Films and Saturn Films’ Drive Angry is the story of a man who returns from the dead to avenge the death of his daughter by a group of Satan-worshippers.
Milton (Nicolas Cage) is a hardened felon who has broken out of hell to find the whereabouts of Jonah King (Billy Burke) – the leader of a Satan-worshipping cult – who had brutally murdered Milton’s daughter and kidnapped his infant granddaughter. Milton wants to kill Jonah and then drink his blood from his skull. On his way, Milton meets and joins hands with Piper (Amber Heard) – a sexy, tough-as-nails waitress, after he saves her from her cheating and violent boyfriend. Even as the duo is hot on the trail of Jonah King, they are themselves being pursued by an enigmatic killer, called Accountant (William Fichtner). Accountant follows Milton’s scent everywhere he goes. Accountant has other incredible powers and he can only be hurt by a special gun that Milton is carrying with him.
Milton and Accountant’s paths cross a couple of times, but Milton is able to escape each time. In the meantime, when Milton is shot at by one of the Satan-worshippers but escapes unhurt, Piper discovers that Milton is actually a dead man, who has returned from hell to avenge his daughter’s murder. Notably, any bullet wound Milton suffers from gets cured in the blink of an eye. Confused, but having found, for the first time, some meaning in her life, Piper continues to help Milton in his mission to save his granddaughter. Meanwhile, Jonah is planning to sacrifice the infant at midnight on the full moon night, to please Satan.
Is Milton successful in saving his granddaughter from Jonah? Who is Accountant really and does he finally catch up with Milton and Piper? Is Milton sent back to hell? The rest of the film and the climax answer these questions.
Script and Screenpay – Drive Angry Review
Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier’s script is entertaining only because of the scope it creates for many action sequences – which are well-executed – but it falls short in the story department. Logic is given a short shrift and even if the audience agrees with the bizarre storyline of a man who returns from hell, enough supporting details are not provided by the writers. Besides, the screenplay is poorly fleshed out. Many scenes in the film just act as in-betweens for the next action sequence to follow. The dialogues, too, are stupid. Some very obvious questions that are bound to arise in the viewers’ minds are not answered. How did Milton get out of hell? Why was he in jail before he died? Why is it so difficult for Piper, who has seen Milton escaping bullet wounds many times, to believe that Milton is a dead man? What is Accountant’s real job? Moreover, the characterisations of Jonah King and his group of Satan-worshippers are clichéd and underdeveloped. The viewer is also, by half-time, aware of how the film will end. Thereafter, the screenplay writers have completely failed in creating any intrigue in the viewers’ minds whatsoever. Also, the fact that Milton’s escape from hell is not depicted in the film, is a letdown. Consequently, the action sequences of ‘Drive Angry’ are its only saving grace. A section of the Indian audience, that enjoys and cherishes no-holds-barred action, will take to the film. The rest, however, will be disappointed.
Star Performances – Drive Angry Review
It is unfortunate to see a fine actor such as Nicolas Cage in a strange and badly fleshed out role as in this film. Nevertheless, he fills the bill and mouths his dialogues as he is required to. Amber Heard looks sexy but can’t act. Fichtner is impressive as the Devil’s messenger, and manages to stand out. Billy Burke and David Morse (as Milton’s friend, Webster) do passable jobs.
Direction, Music and Editing – Drive Angry Review
Patrick Lussier does better at direction than at co-writing, managing to maintain the fast tempo of the film. As long as he keeps the action coming, it’s all good. But on the whole, his attempt to make a Tarantino-esque film falls flat on its face. Michael Wandmacher’s background score is okay. Brian Pearson’s cinematography could have been a few notches better. The visual effects and the use of 3D in the film are fair. Editing (Devin C. Lussier and Patrick Lussier) is not too sharp.
The Last Word
All in all, ‘Drive Angry’ holds some value for the youth among the Indian masses only. The film’s weak screenplay and the average performances will seal its fate at the box-office.