From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Drive Angry 3D - C

Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language, 95 minutes

"Drive Angry 3D" energetic but trashy entertainment

I can sum up the new Nicolas Cage action film "Drive Angry 3D" quicker than you can run a stop sign: 1) it's far, far better than his most recent film "Season of the Witch", 2) it's certainly not dull, and 3) the plot is essentially "Ghost Rider" in a car instead of a motorcycle. Of course, none of this means the film is actually any good, but as my friend Edith said following a recent screening, "you won't fall asleep." A spectacular but enjoyable piece of crap designed to instill a cult following, please Cage's fans and make the rest of us cringe, it should cruise along to a hearty afterlife at the box-office.

Milton (Nicolas Cage) has broken out of Hell and along with a tough-as-nails waitress (Amber Heard) is out to prevent an evil cult leader (Billy Burke) that murdered his daughter from sacrificing his infant granddaughter. However, he is being pursued by 'The Accountant' (William Fichtner), a supernatural operative of Satan who has been sent to bring Milton back to Hell.

"Drive Angry 3D" is cheesy, low-grade guilty pleasure entertainment that's exceedingly and gratuitously violent and misogynistic but far more energetic than you might think. Directed and filmed in 3D by Patrick Lussier, the guy who did the 3D reboot of "My Bloody Valentine" a couple of years ago, this forgettable film is only worth seeing for a couple of reasons: character actor Fichtner, who almost walks away with the film, and those smokin' hot muscle cars that literally power the film: a 1969 Dodge Charger, a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle, and a 1964 Buick Riviera.

It's hard to believe that Cage is the same guy who won an Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas" and appeared in such films as "Moonstruck" and "Adaptation." After his Oscar win, he has seemingly made a deal with the devil to receive huge paychecks for dreck like this that somehow passes for entertainment these days in Hollywood. For what it's worth, the 3D is above-average this time and there is an extended car chase that will rank as one of the year's most memorable. Cage gives another terse performance that has him speaking softly and carrying a big gun, he's Buford T. Justice from hell.

"Drive Angry 3D" will do big business the first week and will drop off once audiences realize the film is just a big gimmick to get people to speed into the theater to see another awful 3D film. As bad as it is, it entertains in its own trashy, low-brow way, with big guns, big cars and big explosions. With a shelf life of a few weeks at most, it's as disposable as those 3D glasses you pay extra for. See it if you must, but you've been warned.

Wes's Grade: C