Drive Angry [Blu-Ray] Patrick Lussier

Drive Angry [Blu-Ray] Patrick Lussier
If you're aiming to go way over the top, why stop shy of the summit? A loose-knit, purposefully vague tale of vengeance, Drive Angry posits itself as a modernization of '70s B-movie schlock. It's not quite an attempt at grindhouse-style fromage/homage, as director Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D) and co-writer/partner in cinematic crime, Todd Farmer, don't quite have the guts to fully spill theirs across the screen. The cinematography is clean and highly stylized, with special effects dwelling in a purgatory between intentionally bad and unintentionally sub-par. Nicolas Cage shows up as Milton (yes, that's a tenuous link to the Paradise Lost author), a man hell-bent on punishing a satanic cult who killed his daughter and kidnapped his baby granddaughter for use in a misguided dark ritual. Providing a character to sympathize with, since Milton is mostly a lifeless vessel of destruction, Amber Heard (Zombieland, The Informers) does a heck of a job as firebrand waitress Piper. Their meeting and connection are overly convenient, but realism or logic play little part in Drive Angry. All that really matters is that the ride is fun and ridiculous, which it often is. Easily the film's greatest strength is the performance of underrated character actor William Fichtner (Date Night, First Snow) as the Accountant, a mysterious man tracking down Milton. In "Access: Drive Angry," the increasingly popular alternative to traditional features on Blu-Ray that forces you to sit through the movie again to see the cast and crew interviews (thankfully, a "skip to next event" button is also becoming common), it's delightful to hear Fichtner talk about his approach to building nuance into the wide open character, investing him with unwritten motivations much richer than any of the other characters. Taking the complete opposite approach is Billy Burke (Twilight), as hillbilly cult leader Jonah King. Apparently, he acts on instinct, which seems to amount to putting no thought into his performance. It could have been a juicy roll for an actor capable of putting some weight behind the character's corpse-defiling claims. As it is, he and Cage seem to have a showing-up-to-work-off. Maybe Cage was being intentionally bland, but it doesn't make his performance any more entertaining. Oh, and he's as absent from the special features as he is investing Milton with any sort of personality. Aside from the glut of random factoids about cars, brief stunt demonstrations and frequent words from the filmmakers in "Access," there are only two deleted scenes ― one of which is completely superfluous and the other a quality scene setting up Fitchtner's ridiculous ride on the hydrogen tanker ― and a feature commentary with Lussier and Farmer. The goofy duo have a great rapport, which comes across better when you can see the gleeful man-child glint in their eyes, making the straight audio commentary less enjoyable than its visual counterpart. Oh, Drive Angry is a 3D Blu-Ray presentation, and if anyone would like to buy me an expensive-ass new TV to watch it on, I'd be happy to tell you if the sporadically amusing sight gags witnessed in theatres hold up at home. (Maple)