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agentorange [Celluloid 02.24.11] movie review horror action thriller

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Year: 2010
Directors: Patrick Lussier
Writers: Patrick Lussier / Todd Farmer
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Drive Angry is an obnoxious, absurd male fantasy gone haywire. A car fetishizing, explosion laden, boob flauntin', violent funhouse-ride of a movie, that might take itself a little too seriously at times, but is ultimately a nifty throwback to that dark period of 70's exploitation flicks when satanic cults and biker gangs ruled the drive-ins. You know, like Vanishing Point meets Simon King of the Witches or something.

So basically, if you were one of those people disappointed by Tarantino's Death Proof and just wanted those chicks to 'stop yapping and kick some ass already' you'll finally find what you were hoping for and I would go so far as to say pairing this with Planet Terror would be a pretty fun night. However, I have a feeling, like with Roderiguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse exorcise, Drive Angry will have a hard time finding it's audience.


In Drive Angry Nicholas Cage plays Milton, a badass sonuvabitch who has come back from the dead to track down a satanic cult leader who killed his daughter and stole her baby in order to sacrifice it and open a gate to bring hell to earth. Pretty crazy, right? Along the way he picks up Piper (Amber Heard), a feisty tough girl who tags along and sort of becomes Milton's surrogate daughter.



Miton is being hunted by the devil's "Accountant," played by the great William Fichtner who turns out to be the highlight of the film in my opinion. He gets the best lines, the best kills and the most inspired car-mageddon scene involving a tanker truck full of nitro and disco you've ever seen.

The supernatural element in the story might be unexpected, but I think it was a smart twist on the revenge genre that gives Drive Angry a mythic quality sorely lacking in these kinds of movies.



For a movie called Drive Angry, I think the car chases and stunts could have been kicked up a notch. The film is essentially an indie, made on a tight budget, but besides the above mentioned tanker truck scene none of the stunts really stand out in my mind a day later.

What does stand out is the 3D, which after a while felt like an unnecessary indulgence on the part of the filmmakers. Lussier is no newcomer to the world of 3D having helmed My Bloody Valentine 3D a couple years back. But I felt it was used a little more effectively in that film, turning the mining tunnels into a weird, hyper real nightmare maze, whereas here there are only so many scenes of bullets coming out the screen and debris flying at me I could take before I was bored of the effect.

Drive Angry's not going to blow anyone's mind, but if you're up for some macho violent exploitation then Drive Angry is probably for you. I enjoyed it for what it was, but didn't felt it was more an exorcise in excess when I wanted it to be like the Crank films - a anarchist gonzo revolution. Ah well... curious to hear what people think so leave your thoughts below if you check it out this weekend.

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shiteater (3 years ago) Reply

you're an idiot if you think the world's box office won't eat this up.

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agentorange (3 years ago) Reply

Ignoring the idiot remark...

People at the screening I was at were pretty perplexed about what they had just seen. Listening to those around me, the consenus seemed to be either "that was really stupid... but kinda fun" or "that was terrible."

I think the film might get people into the theatre, but its so different from what comes to the multiplexes these days that I doubt it'll get a very positive word of mouth beyond hard core action buffs.

I liked it well enough. I had fun, but it really could have been better. The last act was a little sloppy. William Fichtner saved it for me.

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John (3 years ago) Reply

It has car fetish ( guilty ), satan (well he is present too unfortunatley ), blonde chick, and a Terminator 2 meets Gone in 60 seconds ( 2000 )( in a black 1967 Dodge Charger R/T mhhhh ), so this is in todays time and even 20 years ago a winner, dumb or not, people will eat it up.
On the side note, it has also Cage.
I expect also a lot from Fast and Furious new edition, so 6.5 meh its ok.

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Mike (3 years ago) Reply

Just checked and Drive Angry placed last at the box office this weekend. Guess shiteater just ate some shit.

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Anonymous (3 years ago) Reply

Trailer looks like sh%t. I wouldn't pay cinema prices to see if it's not, no matter how tempting the idea of muscle cars and boobs in 3D. If it didn't have Nic Cage in it, it most likely would have gone straight to DVD.

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Ivan (3 years ago) Reply

Death Proof is exactly what is supposed to be. Great movie. You should watch more 70s exploitation.

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agentorange (3 years ago) Reply

Sorry man, but Death Proof is unlike any 70s exploitation movie ever made. It doesn't reflect the tone, look or storylines of any 70s movie I've ever seen. Can you point to a particular film that bears any resemblance besides the fact that there's muscle cars?

Drive Angry is much closer to that kind of movie IMO.

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shiteater (3 years ago) Reply

Yeah, it sucks to be wrong. :(

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Ivan (3 years ago) Reply

I can't point to a particular title, but the tone was exactly as in countless slow moving and somewhat boring 70s explo. movies, which had few cool moments that made them memorable. Planet Terror was fine, but much less true to the real thing than Death Proof. Tarantino knows this stuff better than Rodriguez and proved it in all his movies (btw I consider Predators mediocre and Machete even below mediocre).

I doubt that Drive Angry is even closer to the 70s spirit. The last real explo. movies made by Hollywood was The Passions of Christ.

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Anonymous (3 years ago) Reply

I would argue that Luc Besson's company Europa Corp. is one of the only exploitation houses around anymore.


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