Comic-Con 2010: Nicolas Cage Hits the Gas on Drive Angry 3D
by Ethan Anderton
July 23, 2010
Earlier this year, the eclectic Nicolas Cage rocked audienes as the gun-toting Big Daddy in Kick-Ass which swept through Comic-Con in 2009. But this year Cage is rocking the convention by putting the pedal to the metal with Drive Angry, Patrick Lussier's 3D action follow up which is shot entirely in 3D rather than being converted in post. Comic-Con attendees were treated to a first look at the high speed extravaganza as Lussier gave us a first look at the trailer and brought along Cage, the lovely Amber Heard, as well as the commanding William Fichtner for the ride. So should you buckle up for an angry ride with Nicolas Cage?
If you haven't heard of Drive Angry, the film centers on a a hardened felon name Milton who has broken out of hell for one last chance at redemption. Intent on stopping a vicious cult who murdered his daughter, he has three days to stop them before they sacrifice her baby beneath a full moon. Meanwhile, the police are after Milton along with an enigmatic killer known only as "The Accountant" (Fichtner) who has been sent by the Devil to retrieve Milton and deliver him back to hell. Makes sense right?
The film as a whole looks like a fun, almost grindhouse inspired action film from the 70's and both Patrick Lussier and Nicolas Cage wanted this to be a throwback to some of their favorite films of that time including Vanishing Point, Duel and High Range Drifter. Having said that, all of the fast-paced, and practically shot action would have fared just as well without the help of 3D, which seemed like an unnecessary distraction. Don't get me wrong, the live-action 3D looks clear, spectacular and, at times, really pops, but it's not utilized well enough to bolster the film's appeal and feels like a gimmick. At least that's what I thought about it.
Perhaps the films greatest achievement is the use of practical driving stunts and a complete lack of CG cars in the production. This includes plenty of explosions with Cage speeding away in his trusty 1969 Charger and an amazing flip of a police car off of a bridge. Aside from all of the action, this film harbors yet another unique character from Cage. The versatile actor comments: "I like characters that raise more questions than answers. There's this mystery about him that I don't think I even understand yet. I'm always looking to push the boundaries with film acting. If I can play actors that have a bit of supernatural element with them; it's limitless." The real mystery is why the devil wants Milton so badly. I guess we will have to wait and find out.