Saturday, February 26, 2011

Drive Angry

Last night, a few of us went to see Ol' Melty Face himself, Nicolas Cage, in this, his latest film. When you go to a Nic Cage movie of recent years, you can count on a few basics:

* He'll have a maximum of three expressions: wild, angry, and hurt.

* The differences among the three are extremely subtle. If you haven't seen a lot of his work, you may not even know he has more than one expression.

* Close-ups will leave you wondering whether it's really a face or some very disturbed CG.

* Mayhem will ensue.

* He'll have sex with women who are entirely too hot and way too young for him.

* It won't be a good movie, but it might be a good bad movie.
What you won't be able to know in advance is whether you'll luck into a good bad film and truly enjoy yourself. You might, but the percentage of such winners is low.

I'm quite happy to report that Drive Angry is definitely a good bad movie. I enjoyed it more than any other film I've seen recently. That's not to say that it's a good movie--it's not--or that it somehow rises above its simple aspirations--it doesn't--but if you're into weird Nic Cage action flicks, you will have a great time with this one.

Cage clearly had some control, because the film lets him get his funk on: he drinks, shoots, smokes a huge cigar, drives American muscle cars, utters insane lines (e.g., "I never fully disrobe before a gun battle"), and fools around with those too hot and too young women I mentioned.

The plot is serviceable, and the notion that Cage broke out of Hell gets a boost from his melted face and strange manner.

What really lifts the film, however, is the performance of William Fichtner as The Accountant. This guy brings a strange humor and energy to every scene he enters, and his extremely crisp manner and appearance provide perfect counterpoints to Cage's shambling, violent portrayal.

We saw the film in 3D and though mostly the effects were gratuitous, it did somehow add to the weird badness/goodness of the movie and of Cage himself.

If you're up for this kind of flick, you'll love Drive Angry.


Laura said...

What's your take on the remake of "The Wicker Man"? Good-bad, or just plain old bad?

Mark said...

I've never been able to bring myself to watch that one, though I suppose that one day I will. What do you think?

Laura said...

I've been afraid to watch it; I was hoping you had, and could thus spare me. ;)

Mark said...

Nah, Laura, I'm afraid that on this one you're going to have to go first.

steveburnett said...

I saw it opening weekend, and I thought it was terrible in a "just plain old bad" way. Learn from my mistake so you don't have to make the same one :).

Mark said...

Wicker Man? If so, I may well do that.

steveburnett said...

True, I should have specified I was talking about the Wicker Man remake with Cage. I wrote a full review at the time, but the summary is "don't".


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