In which a Nicholas Cage film is compared to a motorway littered with dead people.

HUAaaRRGH! I mean- what? Hello? When is Up? What colour does red smell like? Hello?

Bollocks. It’s actually happened. After twenty-three years my mind has finally succumbed to madness, snapping like brittle twigs in an autumn park. Now, like Guy Pearce’s tormented amnesiac in Memento, I’ve had to spend the last two days trying to piece together what it is that led me on Wednesday night to tear off my clothes and race through the eldritch corners of Manchester, shrieking horribly that He Has Come.

And as it turns out my spiral into the undulating maw of insanity was not caused by drugs or the Higgs boson particle, or even Sunn 0))). It was Drive Angry 3D, the latest car-crash movie to star Nicholas Cage. Now, when I say ‘car-crash’ I mean that in two respects; the first is that you can only watch this thing with the same kind of startled, macabre awe that you may normally gift a rather unseemly seven-vehicle pile-up on the M6, splintered bones and bits of children smeared across the tarmac, the other respect is much more literal in that if you don’t notice a Dodge Charger smashing hood first into something at least every two minutes then you must have been stricken blind with stupidity.

Drive Angry is so nefariously dumb it almost comes across as a scientific experiment in movie excess, the abstract being: What would happen if we gave a director an unlimited supply of explosions, cocaine and Nicholas Cage’s weird, glowering face? The answer, you would be forgiven for presuming, would be for the Earth itself to rip itself in twain and belch forth a fiery porridge of concentrated evil, and in some roundabout way you’d be right.

Because somewhere below this great ocean of stupid slumbers the ancient coelacanth of a plot. I must admit I can’t remember very much of it, shocked as I was by the twin jumper leads of Cage and Vodka. However a quick perusal of the internet gave me some indicators. Nicholas Cage is ‘Nicholas Cage’, a hard as nails career criminal with a bad attitude and even worse hair. He has just escaped Hell in order to seek revenge on a Satanic cult out to ritually sacrifice his grand-daughter, because that is simply what Satanic cults do. The cult is led by Jonah King (Billy Burke) whose pure, inept malevolence oozes out of his every pore to soak into his ridiculous silk shirt. He reminded me of Peter Stormare’s equally daft role in 8mm, which also starred Nicholas Cage, cinema’s Litmus test of quality.

Along for the ride is Piper (Amber Heard) a sassy waitress clearly impressed by Cage’s ability to beat up her boyfriend and steal her car. There isn’t any actual reason why Piper is involved beyond what must have been a very important clause in the explosions and cocaine contract involving women and the inevitable ogling thereafter. Ah well, she does play a very sassy waitress. Finally, hot on the duo’s heels comes The Accountant, played by That Guy. Y’know That Guy. The dude from the bank robbery scene at the start of The Dark Knight and I think he was in Armageddon and possibly Black Hawk Down and some other things. That Guy is actually William Fichtner, who plays his part rather excellently as the Devil’s right hand man. In fact everybody seems in on the joke in this film, from the lowliest buck-toothed redneck to the, well, the lowliest trailer-trash slag bag. Everybody that is, except Nicholas Cage, who wears a mask of constipated annoyance throughout the film and refuses to take it off.

I was seriously hoping for Cage to go full retard in this film, howling and gibbering, cursing the devil through sloppy tears of anguish. Instead he gives a comparatively restrained performance, as if this entire film acts purely as a means to solve a costly tax problem. Fuck that though, this is Nicholas Cage, Man of Action, which, as a highly evolved race capable of space-exploration and cracking the atom, is what we all really care about. So, action. Once again I can’t really remember much of it except for the aforementioned Dodge Charger driving rather furiously down a seemingly never-ending highway with an entire police force chasing after it. I do recall it being pretty good in a fuck the environment kind of way, plus there’s a fabulous scene where Cage is able to foil an ambush whilst in the throes of (admittedly not very passionate) coitus, never losing his rhythm throughout. This would have been more impressive if it hadn’t already been done in the equally dopey Shoot ‘Em Up. I can’t remember what relevance this scene had precisely, but here it is in all it’s Completely Fine and Safe For Work Especially with the Volume Turned Up glory.

Oh, look’s like it’s been taken down for copyright infringement. Oh well here’s something else you may enjoy.

I don’t begrudge the film for taking my money, I was drinking vodka after all. Also if I’d downloaded it then I would’ve missed out on all the wonderful 3D, which I honestly can’t be dicked about discussing because I said most of what I wanted to say on that subject in my Tron: Legacy review. All that the extra dimension really did is make the person next to me flinch every now and then whenever a chunk of car or pellet of brain matter came flying out of the screen. I’m sure it would be cheaper for everyone involved if they just paid the ushers to throw pop-corn kernels at us instead. Whatever, bollocks to 3D.

And, now that it’s all said and done, what did we learn? Not very much actually, except that a sequel would be excellent, especially if they called it Drive Angrier, and included 100% more of The Accountant, who was shamefully underused. Aside from, that… uh. I think I left the cinema stupider which is probably what led to the pantless shrieking incident, and for me to daub all over my room in blood-black ink: ‘IT DOESN’T MAKE A LICK OF SENSE!’

The End.


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