Release date: February 25th 2011
Certificate (UK): 18
Running time: 104 minutes
Director: Patrick Lussier
Cast: Nicolas Cage, for sale Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke
I’m not a driver. Despite years of insistence by my older brothers that I should get my licence, I never felt the need for there to be another maniac on the road and behind the wheel.
I have enough problems walking and not booting slow-moving, indecisive pedestrians out of the way. Do I really need to pack those frustrations up and put them in a car, a thing made of metal, sheets of glass and filled with highly combustible liquid?
Come to think of it, it might be good stress relief to drive angry…like Milton (Nicolas Cage). After breaking out of Hell, he tries to stop a satanic cult from offering his daughter’s baby as a sacrifice under the full moon. The cult, lead by Jonah (Billy Burke), are also responsible for his daughter’s murder. But with the full moon only three days away, time is against him. Luckily, he runs into a feisty waitress, Piper (Heard), who’s had enough of her life and doesn’t mind offering both her car and help to Milton.
Together they attempt to track down the cult, but the “The Accountant” (William Fichtner) is hot on their trail. He’s Satan’s right hand man and he’s been sent to bring Milton back. He can influence others and make them see things he wants them to see, like a police badge with his picture on it, which comes in very handy. He takes it all in his stride and Fichtner plays him with a wicked and dry sense of humour.
I got to ask him a couple of questions a while back and here’s what he had to say:
WILLIAM: You know, people that don’t know how to drive, which living in LA is a considerable percentage of who’s on the road. But honestly, I don’t drive angry. I can’t tell you how many times my wife says to me, “Why are you driving so slow?” and I say to her, “Why do I need to drive 20mph quicker? So I can get somewhere 3 minutes ahead of time?”
PATRICK: What helped you get in character for your role in Drive Angry?
WILLIAM: The script. From the very first time that I read the story I thought it was fantastically written, the characters were amazing, the story was really tight, and call me old school but I always believe that if it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage. The exciting thing about the character of The Accountant is who’s got a reference point for a guy who works in hell? It’s not like you can call someone up and go, “Hey, how was that couple of years you spent in hell?”
But that was also the most fun, because really your imagination could go anywhere with it and there was no wrong way to go. I had so much fun talking with Patrick Lussier our director, about finding the right tone for the guy, that would be the right guy in this movie, and that’s why the experience I had on Drive Angry is tied for first place with the best experience I ever had working on a film. Tied with a film that I did a few years ago called The Amateurs with Jeff Bridges.
Although I hate to disagree with William, while his lines are terrific and he has a great part, I found the overall story to be weak.
In some ways, Drive Angry reminds us of the action movies from the mid-’70s with Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, but it’s let down by its lack of character development and aimless plot, 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 to us to allow for that empathy to flow.
Still, the action is great; fights scenes and chases come at break-neck speed and Amber adds much appeal. She looks stunning while manoeuvring her way through the action.
If you like your films with 100mph action, vintage cars and Amber Heard rocking a pair of cut-off jeans, then this is right up your alley. You’ll see a 1969 Dodge Charger, a 1971 Chevelle, a 1964 Riviera and a 1957 Chevy, plus a Morgan concept car, tons of trucks, a Lincoln, a hydrogen tanker and even a Hyundai Sonata. Perhaps I will start taking those driving lessons after all.
Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 comedy-drama starring Morgan Freeman as a chauffeur and Jessica Tandy as a Jewish woman who hires him. It’s adapted from the Alfred Uhry play of the same name and tells the story of Miss Daisy’s daily life through her perspective. It won the Academy Award in 1989 for Best Picture.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .