Plot: What’s it about?
Is it me or has Academy Award winning actor, Nicholas Cage, become somewhat of a creepy old man? Don’t answer that just yet. Now let’s take a look back at his career for a second. He’s been in some great and memorable movies and let’s face it – his family is essentially Hollywood royalty (being a “Coppola” does that). However Cage, once a staple of so many Jerry Bruckheimer movies like “The Rock”, “Gone in Sixty Seconds” and “Con Air” seems to have grauated to a new stage in his career. He’s now the staple of fantasy/science-fiction films like “Season of the Witch”, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Kick-Ass.” Ok, admittedly I liked a couple of those but you have to admit that it is a bit of slide for an actor of Cage’s accomplishments. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there and like it or not he’s the star of “Drive Angry”, the latest in his “creepy old man” series of movies. The keys are in the ignition, let’s give it a test drive, shall we?
Milton (Nicholas Cage) has just escaped from Hell. Yes, you read that right – Hell. He’s a man on a mission to track down and kill the people responsible for killing his daughter and have kidnapped his granddaughter (and are set to sacrifice her to Satan). That’s the plot. The rest is just filler. Milton goes from town to town all the while being tracked by “The Accountant” (William Fichtner), who’s seemingly always one step behind. As fate would have it, Milton meets up with Piper (Amber Heard). Piper has just quit her job, caught her boyfriend cheating on her and has no future to speak of. They head out on the road together to continue his mission all the while avoiding the sexual tension between them. As we might expect, it all culminates with “The Accountant”, Milton and the Satanic cult – who will emerge victorious?
As far-fetched as “Drive Angry” sounds, it’s actually not half bad. Despite what my personal thoughts on Cage and his career choices are, he’s still a good actor and he brings his presence to even the silliest of roles. If you’re a fan of fast cars, the slow-motion-walk-away-from-the-car-as-it’s-blowing-up-behind-you type of movie and, of course, attractive blondes, then this is for you. I’m a big fan of William Fichtner and he’s perfect in his role here. Granted, we pretty much know what will happen about five minutes into the movie, but that’s the fun with this genre – it’s all about the presentation and less about the plot. Fans of Cage’s more dramatic work might want to check out a movie from the 90’s, but if you’re looking for some mind-numbing entertainment – look no further.
Video: How does it look?
A movie’s got to have some redeeming qualities to it, no? “Drive Angry” was shot and made for 3D and this is a review of the 2D Blu-ray. That’s ok. It’ll be ok. The 1.78:1 AVC HD transfer is stunning, giving us quality and clarity that we know is possible with HD technology. As good as actress Amanda Heard looks, Nicolas Cage is starting to show his age (46 and counting). Naturally there are a lot of processed CGI shots, but it’s what gives the movie its flare. Colors are bit hard to describe, though overall it’s a very warm mix of colors. There are some scenes in which the black levels do get a bit hard to deal with, we get deep shadows underneath the eyes and so forth. Overall, detail is amazing and it’s just what we’d expect from a film like this. Top notch.
Audio: How does it sound?
Now if you want to talk sound, well then you’ve come to the right place. The DTS HD Master Audio track quite simply, rocks. This is a movie that’s simply made for sound and the excessive use of it. All channels blare out oodles of “information” and though it doesn’t really add to the movie, it’s nice and loud so that’s all that counts. Cage seems to talk in his “tough guy” whisper the entire movie (you know, because he escaped from Hell and all), but I never had a hard time hearing what he had to say. The LFE are working overtime and there’s plenty of booms, crashes and thumps to make your head spin (and some actually do). Suffice it to say that if you want a movie that’s nice and loud then this is most assuredly it.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The movie was a dismal disappointment at the box office which can mean one of two things for the Blu-ray: it’ll be packed to the gills with extras or have hardly any at all. It’s the latter. On the disc itself we get a couple of deleted scenes with optional commentary and a commentary track that’s worth its weight in gold. Seriously, I had planned to listen to this for a few minutes, but ended up listening to the whole thing and it’s hilarious! I won’t spoil anything, but director Patrick Lussier and writer Todd Farmer lend their talents to a great track. Some BD-Live functionality includes a picture-in-picture feature with some of the cast and crew, a trivia track and a body count tracker (yes, really).