Awfully Good: Drive Angry

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Once BABY DRIVER grows up and has to deal with rush hour traffic, he will learn to…


Drive Angry (2011)


Director: Patrick Lussier
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner

Nicolas Cage breaks out of hell with a fast ride and plenty of ammo in order to save his infant granddaughter from being sacrificed by a satanic cult.

DRIVE ANGRY was met with critical derision and disappointing box office upon its release in 2011 and it's a hell of a shame because this movie is a trashy and campy blast from start to finish line. If the idea of escaped hellspawn Nicolas Cage committing constant vehicular manslaughter and engaging in shootouts during the act of coitus excites you, then buckle up.

I was going to make a joke, but I legitimately want to see what Nicolas Cage would do in a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie.

We obviously love Nicolas Cage here at Awfully Good and while the legendary thespian has spent the last decade slumming it in IRS-mandated movie jail, DRIVE ANGRY is one of the best films in the modern Cage epoch. In an interview, the actor said he signed on to this movie simply because he liked the idea that his character gets his eye shot out. The bullet through the retina does happen, but the role provides Cage a vehicle (pun intended) to show off all of his many strengths. There's plenty of high-octane car stunts, double-fisted gunfights, and smoldering soliloquies delivered in true Cage fashion—all set to a hard rock soundtrack. I grew three new hairs on my chest just thinking about it.

The SPCA's new marketing campaign got right to the point.

DRIVE ANGRY brags about being "Shot in 3D" and director Patrick Lussier makes sure to take advantage of that with fiery explosions and dismembered body parts constantly assaulting the viewer. The visuals also work in favor of the format, with everything in the universe feeling so grimy and seedy you can almost touch it. The script by JASON X writer Todd Farmer and Lussier is perfect, reveling in all its grindhouse glory. There's not a subtle bone in DRIVE ANGRY's body, from Cage being named after Paradise Lost's John Milton to lines like, "I don't believe I'll be having that beer just now. Not unless I'm drinking it from Jonah King's skull." The film doesn't even bother offering any unnecessary setup, starting in media res with Cage chasing down and murdering some bad guys, then making a car explode for no reason other than to look cool as the title card comes on the screen.

Nicolas Cage was willing to do all his own stunts for this scene.

However, there's no better example of this movie's gleeful don't-give-a-f*ck attitude than the sex scene shootout. Cage is making the most of his time away from Hell by getting intimate with a lady, a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. He has just enough time for a one-liner ("I never disrobe before gunplay.") before a swarm of bad guys predictably bust in the room. Without missing a beat, our hero starts shooting and fighting them off one by one, all while still biblically knowing his lady friend AND still taking swigs of booze. (At one point Cage gets zapped with a cattle prod and the extra electricity just helps to give his partner even more pleasure.) It's like the similar scene in SHOOT 'EM UP, except this one features Nicolas Cage and Jack Daniels and is therefore automatically superior.

Johnny Depp has made a terrible mistake.

On his quest to rescue his granddaughter and gruesomely murder her kidnappers, Cage makes a few friends. Amber Heard provides the requisite eye candy as Cage's de-facto sidekick, who tags along after our hero saves her from her cheating, abusive boyfriend. His former costar from THE ROCK David Morse also shows up briefly as an old acquaintance. And then there's the always-underrated William Fichtner, who nearly steals the entire movie as The Accountant, the Devil's dickish assistant sent to find Cage and bring him back to Hell. I can't tell you how much fun it is seeing Fichtner randomly show up throughout the movie and act like a pompous ass to everyone, calling them names and nonchalantly sticking his fingers in their freshly-opened wounds. Ficthner has a great arc and his character is used perfectly throughout the film. (The idea that Hell is still somewhat of a moral place is interesting.) In fact, if Cage hadn't engaged in a John Woo-approved orgy, you could say The Accountant is the best part of DRIVE ANGRY.

Sorry Ben Affleck. The only ACCOUNTANT sequel I want to see involves this guy.

By the time the end credits roll and Nicolas Cage has made good on his promise to drink a cold brew from a bloody skull, I think you'll agree—DRIVE ANGRY is truly an underrated gem.

Some great one-liners and speeches from The Accountant and Nicolas Cage.

1) The best kills and action moments.

2) The full Nicolas Cage shoot out sex scene in all its glory. (NSFW)

Boobs and butts galore!

Wanna go for a ride? Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Something explodes
  • Nicolas Cage kills someone with his car
  • William Fichtner tells someone he's The Accountant
  • William Fichtner smells Nicolas Cage's scent
  • William Fichtner messes with someone
  • The Godkiller is fired

Double shot if:

  • Nicolas Cage gets shot in the eye


Thanks to Micah and JP for suggesting this week's movie!


Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.


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