Buckle Up, It’s Gonna Be A Bumpy Ride

Buckle Up, It’s Gonna Be A Bumpy Ride

Static Mass Rating: 3/5

Release date: July 4th 2011
Certificate (UK): 18
Running time: 104 minutes

Director: Patrick Lussier

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke

Grindhouse films have always been something of an underground movement. With their roots firmly planted in the exploitation genre, they tended to feature an array of scantly clad busty beauties in the midst of gore, violence and stories not unlike those you might find in pulp fiction dime novels of days long gone.

In recent years there seemed to be resurgence again as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez brought us Planet Terror (2007), Death Proof (2007) and Machete (2010) and while they failed to break into the mainstream they reminded us, in the age of political correctness, what Grindhouse used to be about.

Drive Angry

Drive Angry, directed by Patrick Lussier, is another attempt to bring the genre to the mainstream with its mix of supernatural elements, gore, flesh and mindless violence and even though it wasn’t as successful as Lionsgate might have hoped, I still found it enjoyable for what it was.

The story is fairly a straightforward one. After breaking out of Hell, Milton (Nicolas Cage) tries to stop a satanic cult and its leader Jonah (Billy Burke) from offering his dead daughter’s baby as a sacrifice under the full moon. With only three days left to go, he’s running out of time. Luckily though, he runs into a waitress, Piper (Heard), who’s had enough of her life and doesn’t mind offering both her car and help to Milton.

Drive Angry

Together they attempt to track down the cult, but the “The Accountant” (William Fichtner) is hot on their tail. He’s Satan’s right hand man and he’s been sent to bring Milton back. What then ensues is a battle with guns, cars and the dark Powers That Be as everyone tries to make it to the end of the full moon.

Drive Angry

In some ways, Drive Angry reminds us of the action movies from the mid-’70s with Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, but its gore, flesh and outlandish plot are wholly derived from Grindhouse classics like Vanishing Point (1971).

However, it’s let down by a clear lack of character development and focus, especially where Milton, Piper and Jonah are concerned. The cult comes across as cartoon-ish and we don’t really care about Milton’s revenge because not enough is given for us to have that empathy.

Still, the action is great; fights scenes and chases come at break-neck speed and Amber adds much appeal. Nicholas Cage, is as you would expect him to be; at times hilarious in a dead-pan sort of way but at other times just jumping into the action as he’s done in so many of his movies without ever breaking into a sweat. He looks angrier than usual here though.


  • Audio Commentary
  • ‘Milton’s Mayhem’
  • ‘How to Drive Angry’
  • Deleted Scenes

It might have broken new ground or did as well as hoped, but for a night in, Drive Angry isn’t bad if you’re willing to just kick back, enjoy some dry humour and a really fast drive.

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