Thursday, 10 March 2011



Aaaaaaand.... no. No, we're still waiting for that film that will silence the naysayers and demonstrate that 3D really does have a place in modern cinema, that it's not just a gimmick cynically exploited by cinema chains to ramp the ticket prices up. This isn't that movie. As a showcase for stereoscopic vision it's pretty unremarkable stuff and if it had been shot and released flat, it wouldn't look significantly different. It is at least filmed in 3D rather than being arsed about with in the computer afterwards, ladling on some kind of artificial depth process that simply doesn't work (otherwise I'd have either sought out a 2D print or simply waiting for the DVD), but the 3D doesn't really add anything of note. We're still waiting for the case to be made.

However, as a violent piece of bloody popcorn exploitation cinema, Drive Angry pretty much does the job as efficiently as a trashhound could hope for, with plenty of gore and grue, boobs and bums, Amber Heard bending over in shorts and cars smashing into each other - not to mention a bonkers plot. Nicolas Cage busts out of Hell in order to rescue his infant grand-daughter from a mob of Satanist nutjobs planning to sacrifice the newborn on the next full moon, which is in just two days' time. He's aided only by Amber Heard's fabulous take-no-crap white trash ex-waitress (mainly because she drives a really cool car) and relentlessly pursued by William Fichtner, terrific as the otherwise unnamed Accountant, responsible for getting Cage back to Hell where he belongs.

This is Patrick Lussier's second film in the new wave of 3D films, after his remake of the 80s teen slasher My Bloody Valentine, and he knows what he's doing: it's slickly shot and efficiently bolted together. And for sex, violence, bad language, car smashes and things blowing up, Drive Angry certainly delivers the goods: it's great fun, a prime piece of exploitation trash and phenomenally entertaining. Oddly, Nic Cage seems to be lower key than usual and I'd have thought this was surely one movie where he could go a bit crazy in that patent-pending Nic Cage way (for example Bad Lieutenant). But the movie blasts along at high speed and full volume and doesn't waste any time along the way - the quiet interludes are brief and usually interrupted by shootouts, explosions, extended chases and gory mayhem. Everything disreputable and gleefully grisly that Hobo With A Shotgun didn't have a hope in Hell of achieving.


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