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Capone would ride through the fiery pits of hell to see DRIVE ANGRY 3D one more time!!!

Hey, folks. Capone in Chicago here.

Second only to James Cameron, Patrick Lussier is my favorite director working with 3D. While so many other directors making 3D films in the last couple years made a point to say, "We aren't throwing things at the camera" and "We don't want this to be a gimmick," Lussier opted for a different approach. He took a fairly shitty '80s slasher film, spruced it up, and made the absolutely glorious MY BLOODY VALENTINE, which came out at the beginning of 2009 and said to its audience, "Hey, we've got about 50 pointy objects we'd like to throw right at your head. Care to join us?" Lussier threw in some tasteful full-frontal nudity, a nice supporting role for the legendary Tom Atkins, and a metric shit-ton of blood and guts, and MY BLOODY VALENTINE turned a decent profit because it remembered to be entertaining.

His latest work (which I saw at Butt Numb-a-Thon a couple weeks back and promise to bring an early screening of it to Chicago very soon…sooner than that) uses the same 3D formula with an original story and an overwhelming number of fantastic car chases and wrecks. Like VALENTINE, DRIVE ANGRY was shot in 3D, a fact that Lussier makes abundantly clear (in the original posters, the "Shot In 3D" tagline was in the same size font as the film's title). But making a film in 3D is not enough of a reason to see any movie. No, the real and true reason you want to see DRIVE ANGRY in any dimension is the magnificent William Fichtner as a character known only as The Accountant.

I'm taking nothing away from Nicolas Cage's Milton, a man who has escaped from hell (literally) to save the life of his newborn granddaughter from the clutches of a satanic cult run by Billy Burke, who killed Milton's daughter, an event that triggered Milton's return. Okay, I'm going to take a little away from Burke's performance because he just isn't that scary, especially next to Cage and Fichtner. I saw guys in the bathroom during BNAT scarier than Burke. Dude, you play Bella's father in the TWILIGHT movies; you ain't scaring nobody. A soul patch does not a villain make. Fortunately, Burke isn't in the movie that much. The true badass creep factor goes to Mr. Fichtner, one of the true reigning champions of awesome.

What I liked about The Accountant is that his motives and true intentions are a little obtuse. At first, we assume he's been brought out of hell to capture Milton and drag him back. But as the film goes on and more bad guys die (thus, upping hell's population by a few souls), The Accountant seems more intent on simply keeping an eye on Milton until his mission is complete. Fichtner has all the best lines, the best clothes, the best quirks and ticks, and access to some fine weapons and vehicles. In case you didn't notice from the trailer, nearly every character in DRIVE ANGRY is obsessed with muscle cars, and if you are as well, you may want to avert your sensitive eyes as, one after another, these beautiful creatures are destroyed in epic fashion.

Also on hand is a beautiful waitress named Piper (Amber Heard), who, at first, seems like she isn't going to contribute anything to DRIVE ANGRY beyond a nice pair of legs in Daisy Duke shorts and a pretty face. But Heard steps up to meet the adventurous and edgy qualities of the rest of the cast and delivers what is easily her best performance since ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE. In fact, by the end of the movie, it's clear that Piper provides the earthy heart and soul of a story that might have otherwise gotten buried in twisted metal, hellfire, and testosterone overload. Not that there aren't plenty of explosions, cars flying through the air, and loads of gratuitous nudity (not Heard) to keep you. amused. Throw in a couple of nice supporting performances by David Morse and "Eastbound and Down's" Katy Mixon, as well as the return of writer Todd Farmer's naked ass, and you have yourself one hell of a fine movie.

I haven't talked much about Cage, and that's because his performance is the one I need to examine with a repeat viewing. Milton is a bit of a mystery. Was he an ordinary man who simply got pulled down to hell because of some bad deeds in his past? We don't know. Or is he something the devil holds in high regard for reasons we never know? I loved that Milton's history isn't spelled out and that Cage plays him as something of a blank slate. We know that he loves his daughter enough to want to avenge her brutal murder, and that's enough to get us through DRIVE ANGRY. He clearly sees Piper as something of an adopted daughter who he seems bent on protecting in a way he couldn't with his own little. I sometimes wish we'd seen a little more of the wacky Cage, but then I always wish that, and it probably wouldn't have been appropriate for this character.

Clearly these numerous unanswered question could be wonderfully answered in a sequel, or better yet a prequel showing some of Milton's hell-worthy antics prior to dying…the first time. And I would welcome such a film but only after Lussier or some other worthy stand-in makes a movie simply called THE ACCOUNTANT. Trust me, after you see DRIVE ANGRY, that's the movie you'll want to see next. If those satanic cult members knew anything about anything, they would be hailing the glory of William Fichtner. I know I do every single day.

One of the only worthy entries in this current wave of 3D, DRIVE ANGRY opens February 25, and you have no choice but to see it or be sent to movie hell, where YOGI BEAR, LITTLE FOCKERS, and GULLIVER'S TRAVELS are playing on a never-ending, triple-bill loop. You've been warned. And for those of you in Chicago, pay particular attention to the site next week regarding…well, just keep your eyes open.

-- Capone capone@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 22, 2010, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Amber Heard

    by MARCEL_THE_NEGRO_PROJECTIONIST

    Somehow, she's sexier now she's gay!

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Enough of this True Grit rubbish, Drive Angry and The Mechanic, let's go.

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Nic Cage, David Morse and William Fichtner

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    all survivors of the Michael Bay school of bombastic acting. Hope this is more fun than Ghost Rider. Gawd, that was awful. BTW, see Fichtner in Go..he's scary hilarious.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Two crappy Nic Cage trailers back to back

    by abcdefz7

    I went to see TRUE GRIT today, and the trailers started unspooling. One looked like yet another crappy Nic Cage movie and I just sort of shook my head. The trailer ended, the next trailer started... and it's ANOTHER crappy looking Nic Cage movie. One was about Nic coming back from Hell and something something, the other one was... which one had the girl in it? They just bled together, but at least the second one had unintentional laughs because it was hard to believe that someone would spool those two together, one right after the other, almost commenting on their awfulness. One of them had William Fichtner -- such a shame to see his talent wasted on this dreck.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 6:58 p.m. CST

    "absolutely glorious" ???

    by gusradio

    You called My Bloody Valentine "absolutely glorious" without trying to be ironic in anyway or even qualifying the remark at all. Maybe someday I'll discover a website that provides movie reviews from a fan's perspective, yet somehow still manages to simultaneously use writers that really do know how to craft their opinions in a manner that isn't completely childish or outrageous.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Amber Heard is gay? Wat

    by Dr. Samuel Loomis

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 7:43 p.m. CST

    fffffuck

    by mrsheldrake

    I am so sold. Already organizing people to go. Grew up across from the Daytona Speedway in the 60s. Me loves muscle cars.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 8:12 p.m. CST

    It's like a 3D Snakes on a Plane

    by CmdX

    This movie is the 2011 3D version of Snakes on a Plane. The suspense is non-existent (I didn't give a fuck about the characters, and I tried) and just like the snakes the cars in this are more for show than useful for the story. What made Snakes on a Plane a watchable movie was the fact that Samuel L Jackson is a fucking badass and there were great 1 lines (well, actually, just 1 great 1 line... then a lot of SLJ bad-ass-ness) while Nic Cage seems to just be playing what I would refer to as a "generic Nic Cage" movie. And the 3D. There is absolutely no reason for this movie to be in 3D. I appreciate that they shot it in 3D, and some of the 3D effects are nice, but the 3D adds absolutely nothing to the story. It is a gimmick so you can see 3D tits floating around. The directing crew are indeed pretty good at actually pulling off live-action 3D but that doesn't really excuse the fact that the movie really doesn't need to be in 3D in the first place. It adds nothing but a few extra dollars for the studio. Capone, as much as I respect your opinion, you are completely wrong about this movie.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Wait, people don't like My Bloody Valentine?

    by Stuntcock Mike

    ...the fuck?

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 8:15 p.m. CST

    braindrain

    by BadMrWonka

    it cost $50 million to make, before promotion costs. your name is appropriate.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 8:22 p.m. CST

    I'm not usually a talkback cynic...

    by HansBubi

    Yet I just want to share that I bought My Bloody Valentine 3D on bluray without having seen it. I was bored one night and didn't have plans. I had an unexpected desire to watch a 3D movie. I'm not usually one to go for the 3D bait, yet for some reason on that night I was down with the idea of owning a 3D movie that supposedly had entertaining 3D...a movie I could throw on when like-minded friends were over and in the mood for a cheaply entertaining (yet 3D!) movie. Oh man, I watched it, and I thought it was one of the dullest movies I've seen in the past however many years. I know I'm not the only one when I say some of the absolute worst movies are bad simply because they are dull. My Bloody Valentine 3D was a competently made film that is guilty of having a great opening, a for-the-men full-frontal nudity sequence, and an hour and a half worth of "I'm scared" talking and repetitive, dull kills. I loved the review (I believe it was on AICN) that criticized the movie for having its best kills at the beginning of the movie, and then the kills getting progressively duller and more repetitive. That is absolutely true. After the opening sequence, I can't recall one single good kill or interesting sequence.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Katy Mixon's Glorious 3D Breasts

    by DiscoGodfather

    This has not been addressed yet. Do we get to see them? (yes, I know they're in "Eastbound and Down". That's 2D.)

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 8:37 p.m. CST

    @openthepodbaydoorshal

    by DiscoGodfather

    "Go" simply does not get enough love. Amen, brother.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 10:20 p.m. CST

    braindrain

    by BadMrWonka

    first, $50 million is about average for a film, and for a weird, genre movie, it's rather high. <p> second, the idea of AICN liking something because it's cheap isn't even a real insult. it makes no sense. there are plenty of trolls here that are consistent and coherent with their constant bashing of this site, you can at least put a little effort into it.<p> and you wrote, "Also, the studio pays for promotion. Not the film. You're a dunce."<p>what. the FUCK are you talking about? of course the studo pays for it...they also pay for THE FILM. THE FILM doesn't pay for anything, THE FILM costs the studio. a movie has a total budget, which is split into the production budget, and what's called a "P&A Budget" (prints and advertising). the studio pays for BOTH of them, and both need to be recouped. when you write that the "studio pays for the promotion, not the film"...does that imply that the film pays for the film? jesus, you can't make up some of the idiocy you find online sometimes.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 10:42 p.m. CST

    braindrain

    by BadMrWonka

    never mind, kiddo. you're right, trying to explain reality to you seems to be a losing battle. I give up.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 10:46 p.m. CST

    My Bloody Valentine had fun 3D in the beginning

    by Bass Ackwards

    Then seemed to forget it was 3D for the rest of the movie, with the exception of a shot here or there. And it was a shit film the whole way through.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 10:51 p.m. CST

    The trailer makes this movie LOOK LIKE SHIT... CAN'T BE THAT GOOD

    by JonChambers

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 10:54 p.m. CST

    discogodfather

    by Bass Ackwards

    I hate to ruin your day, but Mixon used a body double in Eastbound.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 10:59 p.m. CST

    This movie stinks.

    by Banshee7

    I don't get the love for this film. It's not funny, the action is "so-so" and Cage doesn't even look like he's trying. There's some nice nudity, but that's about it.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    I liked My Bloody Valentine

    by Autodidact

    It was an old school slasher movie. It had several fun moments. And the twist actually got me. I felt so fucking dumb I had to laugh.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, midnight CST

    AMBER HEARD IS A LESBIAN?!

    by BlaGyver

    DAMN. THE. GODS.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    I didn't ask, and she didn't tell...

    by MARCEL_THE_NEGRO_PROJECTIONIST

    But she's gay, gay, gay! Not that there's anything wrong with that. <p> abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/amber-heard-latest-hollywood/story?id=12325151

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 1:09 a.m. CST

    MY BLOODY VALENTINE????

    by sideshowrob

    Drive Angry sounds WAY more inventive than MBV showed us. PIRAHNA 3D was the 3D B-Movie MBV wished it was.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 3:05 a.m. CST

    I hated this movie.

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    Saw a screening then went out and got a piece of pie with my friend. By the time I got home and my roommate asked me what I thought of the film, I had completely forgotten that I had even seen a movie that night and I love Cage and went into this movie with very high hopes.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 3:07 a.m. CST

    still waiting for my ""Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn" remake

    by presidentevil

    cause it ruled

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 4:56 a.m. CST

    looks sweet & fichter is awesome!

    by Li75

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST

    "the absolutely glorious MY BLOODY VALENTINE"

    by buggerbugger

    I just... don't understand the world any more.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Fichtner=God

    by diane

    and as for Billy Burke, for heavens sake how is one supposed to take someone with the same fraeking name as Glinda the Good Witch seriously as a badass.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST

    obtuse

    by berserkrl

    "his motives and true intentions are a little obtuse" <p> Man, you need to look that word up.