Take the slow burn that is Nicolas Cage, the perky Amber Heard (in Daisy Dukes and boots, no less), and team them up with the guy who did the last 3D flick besides Avatar I really dug, and you’ve got the beginnings of Drive Angry 3D.
Combining copious heaps of mindless violence, female nudity, classic muscle cars (Chevelles, Chargers, and a 1964 Riviera) and a non-stop rock soundtrack which includes the likes of Peaches’ “Fuck the Pain Away”, Drive Angry is what low-budget filmmaking used to be all about, but given a higher production caliber with the use of modern digital 3D. This trite description could just as easily describe the other Patrick Lussier film I barely mentioned above, My Bloody Valentine 3D, but Drive Angry comes with so much more.
It’s the story of one John Milton (Cage), who manages to rise above Hell and return to the Earthly plane, for the purpose of saving his granddaughter from being sacrificed by a Satanic cult. This alone is enough to get my saliva running — but wait, there’s more!
Enter Heard as the tough-talking and tougher-fighting Piper, who somehow sees through Milton’s grim visage to the well-meaning soul behind it and joins him in his quest. Together they head to Louisiana, where the grandchild will be slain at the whim of Jonah King (Billy Burke), the leader of the aforementioned cult. Cage, as always, provides enough barely-hinged tension to make us wait for when he explodes again (and boy, does he), and Heard enough tough-chick sexiness to deliver her lines and make us want to see if she can back up the talk (she does).
But the best is yet to come! Not only does the legendary Tom Atkins appear as the captain of a highway patrol unit, and inevitably crumble the scenery by his mere presence, but the wonderful William Fichtner (pictured above) steals the show, entirely. He plays The Accountant, apparently Satan’s right-hand man and one particularly in charge of escapees from the devil’s domain. This is the role Fichtner was born for, and he is an epitome of grace, morbidity and comedic timing.
When not in wonder over the 3d effects, the film is constantly shocking or tickling the ribs, and is consummately entertaining. If a fan of the schools of exploitation or ’70s era road movies, this film cannot be missed.