Drive Angry (2011)

Rated: R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language.
Length: 104 minutes
Grade: FHFF=F-
Rotten Tomatoes: 46% favorable, 5.3/10 average
Budget: $45-50 million
Box Office: $29 million (11 U.S., 18 Intl.)

Written by: Todd Farmer (My Bloody Valentine, The Messengers, Jason X) and Patrick Lussier (Dracula 2000)
Directed by: Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine, White noise 2, and Dracula 2000)
Starring: Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard
With: William Fichtner, Billy Burke, and David Morse.

A father escapes from hell and starts killing everyone connected with the murder of his daughter and the abduction of her baby.

First, you should know that there is a style of movie out there called “Grindhouse” which is basically gory, vulgar, and intentionally ugly, sometimes called “gritty.” They were originally extremely low production value films about lurid and perverse subject matter shown in single theaters to limited audiences that developed cult-like followings. This is meant to be in that tradition, which is another way of saying it’s a horrible, terrible, awful film. Unentertaining. Terrible acting. Just unpleasant to watch. And did I mention full of obscene material? This is literally one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a LOT of bad movies in my life. I quit watching at about 40 minutes, and my only embarrassment is that I didn’t quit around 5 minutes when I was first inclined to do so. I used to adore Nic Cage movies, and so I’d like to say he’s sunk to a new low here. But then again, he did make 8MM, which I would unsee if only it were possible. The problem is this was marketed to general audiences like any other drive fast and shoot-‘em-up movie. I can only imagine that the poor unsuspecting people (like me) who paid to see it were horrified by the content. Where Deathproof has a plot and a point and Machete is at least periodically hilarious, this is just plain terrible. And not even bad enough to be funny or entertaining for being so bad. Just bad. I’d say Expendables bad, but I’d rather watch Expendable ten times rather ever seeing even just the first 10 minutes of this again. Well, maybe five times.

Overall Grade: F-
Failure and then some. Absolutely no way anyone should ever see this movie for any reason whatsoever. It’s quite an indicator that Rotten Tomatoes reviewers felt they had to endorse it as a “genre” pic or perhaps lose their “artsy street cred.” I have no such hang-up. I tell you to warn you.

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