Drive Angry 3D

Featured In Issue 157, May/June 2011

3D Picture3.5
WSR Score2
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Summit Entertainment
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Strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Patrick Lussier
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In the high-octane, action-adventure Drive Angry, Milton (Cage) is an undead felon who breaks out of hell to avenge his murdered daughter and rescue her kidnapped baby from a band of cult-worshiping savages. Joined by tough-as-nails Piper (Heard), the two set off on a rampage of redemption, all while being pursued by an enigmatic killer (Fichtner), who has been sent by the Devil to retrieve Milton and deliver him back to hell. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer, two deleted scenes (HD 01:36), the interactive "Access: Drive Angry," up-front previews, and BD-Live functionality.

The 1.78:1 1080p MVC 3D Blu-ray picture is a throwback to the grind-house B movie style with an over-the-top, cheesy 3-D presence. The 3-D style embraces Director Patrick Lussier's vision crafted in his last picture, My Bloody Valentine. The feel goes back to the days of Friday The 13th: Part 3-D and Jaws 3-D, with gimmicky effects. To intensify the excitement, Lussier throws CGI effects right in the viewer's face, including shattered jawbones, body parts, bullets, knives, and all manner of debris. In one violent sex scene Nicolas Cage is shown locked in coitus with a naked waitress while smoking a cigar and simultaneously blowing away a dozen bad guys while pausing for an occasional swig of Jack Daniels—in slow motion 3D! In another scene there is an effective play on moon reflections in a car windshield, as the camera looks down on Cage driving at night. Still, in another there is a coin flicked in the air, which is visually effective. The perception of depth and perspective is effective and, at times, astounding. The actual quality of the 3D is perfectly satisfactory, but the emphasis is on maimed bodies rather than immersing audiences in its sun-baked environments. On the negative side is the shoddy green screen work and the plague of double image ghosting that persists throughout the movie. While Drive Angry was shot natively in 3D, the ghosting artifacts are problematic. As for the traditional picture attributes, the color palette appears naturally hued. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is revealing. Resolution and clarity is satisfying. Still, the film's B-movie appeal is always apparent, which is intended. Overall, this is a hard-R over-the-top 3-D cinematic experience that has its crazy, fun moments. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is highly energized and, at times, over-the-top loud. Director Lussier handles a few high-speed action scenes and the wilder sequences with aggressive surround sound and mixing bursts of manic road rage with various shootouts and pelting explosions. The frantic chase scenes always culminate in wild gunfights, which are terrifically executed with rumbling sounds and exaggerated gun fire. Low-frequency effects are well executed, to enhance the mayhem and add weight to the sound effects. Panned effects are aggressively localized across the soundstage in the surrounds. In the more quieter scenes, atmospheric effects are nicely dimensional. The music is varied and generally well recorded, with at times, a strong surround presence. The rock segments convey a generally distorted and edgy quality. Dialogue is reasonably realistic and natural sounding. Overall, the soundtrack is effectively crafted to support the general mayhem. (Gary Reber)