Review of Drive Angry

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A vengeful father escapes from hell and chases after the men who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter. Starring Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner & Billy Burke.
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Movie Review: "Drive Angry 3D"

--Rating: R
Length: 104 minutes
Release Date: February 25, 2011
Directed by: Patrick Lussier
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action

"Drive Angry 3D" is the kind of movie that viewers need to see to believe. Director Patrick Lussier is no stranger to the sci-fi and horror genre. He previously directed "Dracula 2000," "Dracula II: Ascension," and "Dracula III: Legacy." Lussier is also responsible for the remake of "My Bloody Valentine," which landed in theaters in 2009. "My Bloody Valentine" was his first experience with 3D films, and he used the knowledge he learned on that set when he made "Drive Angry 3D."

Nicholas Cage ("Ghost Rider," "National Treasure") plays John Milton, a man with a dangerous secret. Prior to the start of the film, Milton lost his daughter when she joined a cult. Jonah King, the leader of the cult, arranged her murder, and he later kidnapped the girl's child. Milton learns that King wants to sacrifice the child to his God. Billy Burke ("Along Came a Spider," "The Twilight Saga: New Moon") serves as a formidable foe for Cage.

The movie opens with a thrilling scene that has viewers leaning forward for a closer look. Milton chases down another man, causing a huge wreck that leaves the second man near death. Milton uses the crash to determine the location of King, which lets him track down his grandchild. Without a second thought, he climbs back into the car and sets off on a journey to find the baby. Milton does not know that another man is right behind him. The Accountant (William Fitchner, "Black Hawk Down," "Armageddon") has a secret of his own, and his secret requires that he keep an eye on Milton.

Piper (Amber Heard, "The Rum Diaries," "The Stepfather) is a young woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her cheating boyfriend. When she leaves her waitress job and asks Milton for a ride, he agrees to take her. Piper walks inside her home, only to find her boyfriend with his mistress. As the two women fight, her boyfriend begins beating Piper. Milton climbs out of the car, hits the boyfriend, and takes Piper with him on his journey. The Accountant makes his presence known, enlisting the help of local law enforcement to catch Milton.

Piper finds herself trapped in Milton's life when a group of King's men catch up with them. Milton manages to dispatch many of the men, and Piper kills one herself. The police arrive with The Accountant, which creates enough confusion that Piper and Milton can slip away. The two manage to track down King, but King shoots Milton and runs away with Piper. Piper assumes that Milton is dead, but she manages to stand up and kill the men who helped King.

From that point on, "Drive Angry 3D" runs fast and hard without letting up for a second. Viewers will ponder dozens of questions. Who is Milton? Is King the father of his grandchild? Who is The Accountant, and why does he want to find Milton? Every few minutes, another question arises. By the time the movie finishes, viewers will find the answers to most of those questions.

As the film progresses, it introduces new characters who have a connection to the leads. Webster (David Morse, "16 Blocks," "Disturbia") helps Piper and Milton escape from King's men. He reveals that he knew Milton 20 years ago, and he tells Piper that he saw Milton die in front of his eyes. Once the movie reaches its final conclusion, viewers will learn what Milton is and why he didn't die.

"Drive Angry 3D" is the kind of action-filled movie that keeps viewers excited from beginning to end. The movie does have a few slow moments, but the slow moments are few and far between. Even something as simple as Milton meeting a woman and taking her back to his hotel room becomes exciting when King's men arrive on the scene. Only Nicholas Cage can breathe so much life and excitement into a character who might otherwise seem over the top.

Another highlight of the movie is the chemistry between Burke and Cage. Whenever Burke goes head-to-head against Cage, viewers will find themselves on the edge of their seats. Cage also has excellent chemistry with Fitchner, though the two rarely share scenes together. The same cannot be said for the chemistry between Heard and Cage, as she seems slightly miscast. Despite those minor problems, "Drive Angry 3D" has enough action and excitement that it's well worth a watch.