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Drive Angry (Blu-ray / DVD)

Drive Angry on Blu-ray and DVDStarring Nicolas Cage, Billy Burke, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Tom Atkins, Charlotte Ross

Directed by Patrick Lussier

Distributed by Summit Entertainment


I was sadly in the majority as I missed out on experiencing Drive Angry 3D when it hit theaters this past February so my only experience with the film is on Blu-Ray and in a non-3D format. In fact, I’ve been patiently waiting for its home release arrival for the last several months because the word of mouth was great from those who had checked the movie out in theaters. So was Drive Angry worth the wait? Hands down – hell yes!

Drive Angry centers around a mysterious drifter (Nicolas Cage) named Milton who is on the hunt for Jonah King (Billy Burke), a notorious cult leader who murdered Milton’s daughter and then kidnapped his infant granddaughter to be used as part of Jonah’s evil cult scheme that I won’t say too much more about or I’d ruin the third act for you fans out there. Realizing this is a grandiose mission that he would be unable to tackle alone, Milton enlists the help of a beautiful female ass-kicker (Amber Heard). Our hero’s partner in vengeance is an outrageously gorgeous woman named Piper, who almost takes down more bad guys than Milton as it takes a strong woman to carry a movie with a set of cajones this big. Don’t get me wrong; Cage is truly 74 kinds of badass awesomeness in Drive Angry, but Heard delivers a knockout performance that made me find a new level of respect for the up-and-coming actress.

Drive Angry on Blu-ray and DVDBeyond just the mayhem, there’s a lot more to Drive Angry than insane chase sequences, hot chicks and some of the most glorious knock-down drag-out fights since Machete- the flick also delves into some deeper issues like theories on what hell is like and the lengths to which fury and vengeance would take you in order to protect your family. Don’t worry; nothing in Drive Angry ever gets preachy, and much of that is due to the performance of ‘The Accountant’ portrayed by William Fichtner. The character actor who wowed me previously in movies like Go and Blackhawk Down, as well as on the television series “Invasion”, is always on top of his game, but here he seems to be at his best because not only does he steal the scene every time he comes on the screen, but most of the bright comedic moments in Drive Angry come from The Accountant’s need to locate and retrieve Milton, who has done the unthinkable on his watch and escaped from hell and returned to Earth. He’s an antagonist to Milton; yet, The Accountant definitely admires his resourcefulness and that unfolds in some very entertaining ways in the third act.

Drive Angry is fun-fueled exploitation bliss that hearkens to the golden days of grindhouse flicks and features the pure spectacle of the car/action movies of the 70s. Lussier, as a director, has never been so ambitious, and I applaud his and co-writer Todd Farmer’s script that seemed to balance action, comedy and camp with ease. And even though my Blu-ray was not in 3D (and there are clearly moments in Drive Angry where it was definitely apparent that certain shots were created to complement the 3D), I honestly enjoyed the hell out of the movie in the 2D format. Drive Angry in 3D I guess would only enhance the fun so if you have the tech, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The DVD and the Blu-ray both look pretty spectacular with of course the high definition version taking the cake when it comes to both visuals and sound.

In terms of special features, Drive Angry‘s audio commentary with Lussier and Farmer is definitely enjoyable for fans of theirs. The deleted scenes are pretty standard and don’t really add much to the overall experience of Drive Angry (although I generally think deleted scenes were deleted for a reason in most cases so while they pique my interest, they generally leave me unsatisfied). What did steal the show was watching the movie in Access: Drive Angry mode that gives fans some really interesting looks at the movie that will keep you entertained throughout the film without feeling too invasive either.

Overall, if you’re a fan of movies like Planet Terror, Death Proof, Hobo With a Shotgun or earlier faves like Duel or Roger Corman’s original Death Race 2000, Drive Angry is going to be right up your proverbial alley. Even though it ended up D.O.A in theaters earlier this year, exploitation fans would be remiss if they didn’t check out Drive Angry in their own homes. It’s a movie that deserves to find an audience one way or another.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with filmmakers Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer
  • Access: Drive Angry picture-in-picture (Blu-ray only)
  • Deleted scenes with filmmaker commentary

    Film

    4 out of 5

    Special Features

    3 out of 5

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    Discuss Drive Angry in the comments section below!

  • thehorrorchick

    • kiddcapone

      I just rented it and to be honest, I didn’t hate it. Which amazes me considering the fact I think Nick Cage has the acting range of Terri Schiavo.

      I definitely liked it better than both Grindhouse flicks, Death Race, and Machete. I seriously doubt that I will buy and add it to my collection, but I wasn’t bored and thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Fichtner’s role as the Accountant made the movie for me. He cracked me up the whole time. Piper was smoking hot and the character of Jonah King was well done. I wish I had a chance to see it on the big screen in 3D, but oh well. It was in and out of the theater in 2 weeks and this wasn’t high on my priority list.

      Drive Angry is a cheesy corny intentionally campy fun time. I thought Machete was a hell of a lot more “forced” than this. That movie deserves One Knife or less.

      Drive Angry gets 3.5/5 from me.

    • Masked Slasher

      This is the worst movie of 2011. No question. A shame because I usually really enjoy Lussier’s work – all the way back to Prophecy 3.

      • Uncle Creepy

        Really, dude? Really? THIS was the worst?!??!? *shakes head*

        • LifeMi

          Having seen Insidious, I have to respectfully disagree.

        • Masked Slasher

          Sorry my man. I just didn’t think it worked. At all.

          I know I ranted through DFF so I won’t get too much into it here, but I found it incredibly lifeless, bland and, most importantly to me, devoid of fun.

          And I think its clear that I usually LOVE stupid fun. I’m a pretty forgiving guy … but this whole thing felt ‘off’ from square one.

    • jcrimes

      I saw this turd yesterday and the wrost part about it is Cage. His hair is so fucking distracting like a child playing with pots and pans in the kitchen. Another thing, who made Nick Cage a badass because I just can’t buy it, he comes off as tough as Lady Gaga comes off beautiful. The movie just flat out sucked balls…now if you want to see a great film watch Stake Land.

    • Belial Bradley

      Just watched it last night – what a terrible mess. Lazy, boring, repetitive, and just tries way too hard. Tom Atkins is wasted. Features CGI that makes SyFy Channel originals look like Avatar. 1 star would be generous.

    • jesstro

      hmmmm… this movie looked like garbage on the trailers. Looked like ConAir mixed with Ghost Rider. But is it that good? We’ll see, gonna wait till instant streaming on Netflix for this one.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Count me in with the folks who love this movie. It’s funny, rarely do you see anyone in the middle. I guess you either love it or hate it.

      • Sirand

        Count me in the middle. It alternates between being fun and forced.

        • Foywonder

          Same here with me leaning more towards the forced end of the spectrum.

      • Terminal

        That definitely seems like the case.
        ———-
        “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

    • Vanvance1

      I’m a fan of Hobo with a Shotgun, Planet Terror and Death Race 2000. I’m also someone who was pulling for Farmer because of his work on the underrated Jason X. I still don’t like this film.

      True, the director and writer seems accessable to the horror media. True, the writer obviously loves the genre. What’s not true is that ‘Drive Angry’ is a good film. Sadly it’s not even consistently entertaining.

      Contrary to what the reviewer believes I felt the performances were both underwhelming and the charcaterizations obvious. Has William Fichtner ever played any of his roles any differently? No, his range is limited. Does Cage step up his game to be more than an ‘I’m too cool for school’ generic badass? No, he does not.

      This is a movie with a few good moments that don’t make up for poor characterization (where’s Heard’s motivation to go with Cage and risk her life), uneven pacing and a lack of intensity.

      The film was better than their work on ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but it’s just not good enough to deserve the hype sites like DC have been piling on.

      2.5 knives (and that’s a touch generous).

    • Terminal

      Really??? Seriously??? This movie is going on my 10 worst films of 2011 list for sure.

      Half a knife.
      ———-
      “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”