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- Played By: Nicolas Cage
- Anti-Hero: A definitive '90s Anti-Hero. And yes, he was a criminal and a poor husband, but at least he's trying to save his granddaughter.
- Badass Driver: Where do you think the movie's title comes from?!
- Badass Grandpa: He broke out of Hell to save his granddaughter.
- Creepy Souvenir: He eventually gets Jonah King's skullcap like he said he would. He almost goes to throw it away, but then decides to just keep it.
- Deadpan Snarker: He doesn't mind being sarcastic at times.
- Determinator: Milton breaks out of Hell itself, and doesn't let anything stop him from there on. He plows through enemies and takes his fair share of mortal wounds.
- Enemy Mine: With The Accountant, eventually, to take down Jonah King.
- Escaped from Hell: The entire premise of the film is that he broke out of Hell to save his granddaughter and fuck people up.
- Fate Worse than Death: His stint in Hell (although he died to get there, of course).
- Fish out of Temporal Water: He died during the 90s, and is a little bewildered by how the world has changed.
- Forced to Watch: His punishment in Hell was to watch his loved ones (his daughter, specifically) suffer over and over.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Since he's already dead, Milton can shrug off most wounds, and even fatal wounds heal after a while.
- Kavorka Man: He's rude and has an awful hairpiece, but waitresses seem to throw themselves at him.
- Meaningful Name: He's named for John Milton, author of Paradise Lost.
- Moe Greene Special: By Jonah King; he gets better.
- Papa Wolf: He is going to save his granddaughter. Either help him or get out of his way.
- Refuge in Audacity: How he stole the Godkiller.The Accountant: You're not the first to get out, and I doubt you'll be the last, but I have got to know, how did you get out with the Godkiller?
Milton: I just walked in and took it.
- Revenant Zombie: Due to him being dead and all.
- Tranquil Fury: His attitude to Jonah killing his daughter and his intentions towards his granddaughter, eventually leading to him calmly obliterating King with the Godkiller.
- Weapon of Choice: He carries the Godkiller, a five-barrel Hand Cannon that can kill demons and wipe people out of existence entirely. He's also very handy with his 1911.
Played By: Amber Heard
- Action Girl: The Anti-Hero version. She's pretty good with a gun.
- Badass in Distress: She's captured twice, but successfully rescues herself both times.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: A bloody lip after some particularly savage hits to the face is the worst she ever gets hurt despite eagerly charging into every fight at hand. It happens near the beginning of the movie and is gone again barely a minute later so the rest of the film can be spent enjoying Amber Heard's flawless looks.
- Blood Knight: Certainly has some shades of this, considering her tendency to let her fists do the talking to anyone who even remotely pisses her off.
- Cool Car: The titular Drive Angry.
- Cop Killer: She kills two policemen enlisted by The Accountant.
- Deadpan Snarker: Piper certainly has some fun lines.
- Designated Girl Fight: With one of King's cultists.
- Male Gaze: When her car breaks down near the beginning of the movie, the camera sure seems to enjoy lingering on Piper's butt while she's checking out the engine.
- Ms. Fanservice: She's played by Amber Heard. 'Nuff said.
- Show Some Leg: A logical consequence of her wearing very short shorts for almost the entire movie. Just have a look at the main page's image.
- Miss Swears-A-Lot: And unlike most examples, not just Cluster F-Bombs, but other vulgarities as well.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gives one to Jonah King.King; I've changed my mind about you, Piper; you are too willful to be taught. I am going to kill you, and then I'm going to defile your corpse.Piper: Between now and then... (cracks neck) ...I'mma fuck you up.
- Unkempt Beauty: Not as pronounced as some other examples, but she does sport a pretty wild mane after she quits her job at the diner.
- Played By: William Fichtner
- Affably Evil: He's usually very polite.
- Anti-Hero: When he realises what Milton is out of Hell to do, he postpones the hunt and helps him find his granddaughter.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Always clad in a sharp, neat suit.
- Brutal Honesty: Whilst he's more often than not polite, he also has zero desire to sugar coat his words when dealing with horrible people. When talking to an unpleasant and overweight diner boss, he addresses him as "Fat Fuck" and when challenged on this asks if he rather it be "Dead Fat Fuck."
- Deadpan Snarker: He's not at all adverse to some well placed snarking.Accountant: [pointing to a pentagram carved on his chest] What's that supposed to mean?
Cultist: It's a symbol of our pact with Lord Satan.
Accountant: Pact, huh? Woo. Funny, he's never mentioned you.
- Enemy Mine: Once he realises Milton's only concerned with stopping King and saving his granddaughter, he actively aids him in the final act. All with the understanding he comes back to hell quietly of course.
- Everybody Has Standards: He thinks very little of King and his "Satanist" cult. Discussed when he points out Satan himself isn't a fan of evil people committing atrocities in his name.
- Hero Antagonist: "Hero" might be a bit of a stretch, but Milton did deserve to go to hell, and it's the Accountant's job to bring him back.
- Implacable Man: The Accountant will hunt down escapees from hell and drag them back. You can only run for so long before he completes his mission. Subverted in that Milton has an insurance policy against him in the form of the Godkiller.
- Improbable Weapon User: He can kill people with a coin.
- Noble Demon: After realizing that the only reason why John is out of hell is to rescue his granddaughter, he lends a hand and even sounds disgusted at King using said granddaughter as a Human Sacrifice to Satan, whom he claims is actually a soft-spoken and well-read individual.
- Oh, Crap!: His reaction when he sees that Milton has the Godkiller.
- Pet the Dog: He lets Milton hold his granddaughter for a while before bringing him back to Hell. He also lets Milton drive on the way back to hell.
- Psychopomp: He's the man who drags escapees from hell back to the their prison.
- Punch-Clock Villain: At the end of the day, he's just doing his job and it's one that needs doing.
- Worthy Opponent: How he sees Milton. At the end, he confesses that he looks forward to Milton escaping from Hell again so he can restart the chase.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: He gets his cheek grazed by the Godkiller, and the injury stays with him for the rest of the movie instead of healing.
- Played By: Billy Burke
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: King has already brutally murdered Milton's son-in-law and his daughter but now also intends to sacrifice his grandchild.
- Ax-Crazy: Prone to becoming murderously violent on a whim, engages in necrophilia and wishes to unleash Hell on Earth. Jonahs many things, and sane isnt one of them.
- Arch-Enemy: To Milton. In the past, he forced Milton's daughter to give him oral sex, beheaded her, used her femur to make his walking stick, and now plans to sacrifice Milton's infant granddaughter.
- Berserk Button: Do not even mention that he has no privates anymore. He shot dead one of his own cultists on the spot when he tried to mention it.
- Big Bad: He's the main villain of the movie.
- Cessation of Existence: After he gets shot by Milton wielding the Godkiller.
- Didn't See That Coming: Milton throws a pretty big Spanner in the Works by coming back from the dead to avenge his daughter and save his grandchild.
- Dissonant Serenity: Almost always speaks calmly no matter what.
- Groin Attack: Milton's daughter bit his privates off when he forced her to give him oral.
- Human Sacrifice: King seeks to sacrifice Milton's granddaughter to the Devil.
- I Love the Dead: He promises Piper that he's going to "defile" her body.
- New Era Speech: Gives one to his crazed cultists shortly before the final battle.
- Scars Are Forever: When she first escaped the cult Milton's daughter stabbed him in the face with his own pentagram pendant. Leaving him scarred for life. Second time around when he tried to force her to give him oral sex she bit off his manhood. The latter is a touchy subject.
- The Sociopath: A charismatic cult leader who's perfectly willing to kill a baby to bring about Hell on Earth. When the kid's mom opposes him, he forces her to blow him, kills her and then makes a staff out of her femur.
- Would Hit a Girl: As Piper can attest to.
- Would Hurt a Child: He seeks to sacrifice Milton's infant granddaughter to Satan.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He believes that he has Satan's favour and that his human sacrifice of a child will bring about hell on earth. Satan would be disgusted by his actions and doesn't even know he exists. As for his ritual? It will accomplish absolutely nothing other than an innocent's child's death. King has no supernatural powers in the slightest.
Played By: David Morse
Played By: Katy Mixon
Played By: Tom Atkins