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Film / Drive Angry

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"Since the birth of time, humanity has endeavored to restrain evil men in prisons. But since Cain fled the murder of his brother, evil men have fled the walls of punishment. So, it doesn't matter if you're a badass motherfucker on the run, because you think you're better than everyone else and somehow entitled to do what you gotta do. No. Because, you see, badass motherfuckers are never fast enough. In the end, they will all be accounted for."
The Accountant, Opening Monologue

Drive Angry is a 2011 3D action movie from the same people behind My Bloody Valentine 3D. Nicolas Cage plays Milton, a man who has broken out of Hell to prevent the cult that murdered his daughter from sacrificing her kidnapped child to Satan. He is being pursued by the Accountant (William Fichtner), a supernatural operative of Satan who has been sent to bring Milton back to Hell. Along the way, Milton picks up a waitress named Piper (Amber Heard) in his quest to save his granddaughter.

Not to be confused with braking angrily.

This film provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The Accountant. For a demon assigned to hunt down Hell's escapees, he's rather polite to those who deserve it... and even-tempered when he insults (or kills) the hell out of those who deserve that treatment.
    • He also lets Milton finish his roaring rampage - smashing through a police roadblock at one point - when he finds out it's for a selfless cause. He does insist on taking Milton back to Hell, though.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: A surprisingly powerful one when Webster offers Milton a beer, asking him if the fire he's staring into reminds him of home. Milton explains that it's not the fire, but the video feed of your suffering loved ones that plays 24/7. He goes on to describe, in graphic detail, exactly what Jonah King did to his daughter and why he fought so hard to get out, before politely refusing the beer.
  • Anti-Hero: John Milton was a bad husband (implied spousal abuse) who broke out of Hell to kill his way towards rescuing his baby granddaughter. Piper qualifies as well, being a female Sir Swears-a-Lot among other things.
  • Asshole Victim: Piper's boyfriend is described as such by the Accountant; he claims only his mother will miss him.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Accountant.
  • Badass in Distress: Piper, but both times she gets herself out of it. She fights through a mook and Jonah to take a flying leap out of a moving vehicle onto the hood of another moving vehicle, and later lifts the Godkiller off of the supernaturally-powered Accountant.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The Accountant wrangles local law enforcement into doing whatever he wants by pretending to be an FBI agent. It helps that he can transform his coin into a realistic badge on demand, but most of it comes from the fact that the man simply is that unflappable.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Piper goes through several wild brawls and gets knocked around quite a bit. The worst she ends up with is a bloody lip, and even that's completely gone from the next scene onwards.
  • BFG: The Godkiller, a five-barrel Hand Cannon that can blow stuff up real good, and is the only thing capable of killing demons. Milton stole it from Satan on his way out of Hell.
  • Big Bad: Jonah King.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Milton's saved his granddaughter and killed Jonah King, but he's still going back to Hell. It's implied he'll break out again, eventually.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Webster might be the only really decent person in the whole movie.
  • Bookends: The film starts with Milton speeding his way out of Hell and ends with him going back in.
  • Blown Across the Room: Played straight and surprisingly Justified with the God-Killer. In the words of The Accountant, it has "quite the kick", and Piper is shown being thrown back by the recoil when she uses it to kill Jonah King's right-hand man, who is sent flying roughly the same distance. Milton is also pushed across the ground several yards when he kills Jonah, who gets launched into the air himself. Zig-zagged when he first fires the God-Killer at The Accountant, as it's from inside a car, but Milton has been shown to be supernaturally tough.
    • The recoil is inconsistent the times it is used. The Accountant says it has 'quite the kick' and when Piper fires it it knocks her down and knocks her unconscious and when Milton fires it the second time while laying on his back it sends him sliding across the ground but the first time he fires it one-handed it doesn't seem to have any recoil at all.
  • Bounty Hunter: The Accountant operates like one, hunting down those who have escaped Hell to bring them back. Though he doesn't work for money.
  • Brick Joke: At one point, Milton turns down a beer, saying that the next alcoholic drink he's gonna have will be from Jonah King's skullcap. At the end, he's literally using Jonah's skull as a drinking cup.
  • Cardboard Prison: It's said that John isn't the first to break out of Hell, and he won't be the last. Although it's implied that whenever someone escapes from Hell, someone like the Accountant hunts them down and eventually drags them back. For example, his reply when Piper threatens to kill him in order to stop him from taking Milton:
    "Someone else will come. Someone else always comes."
  • Car Fu
  • Cessation of Existence: This is what happens if you get hit by the Godkiller.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several times during the movie, the Accountant transforms a coin into an FBI badge in order to get the police to listen to him. During the final shootout with King's cult, he uses that coin to kill two of King's mooks. Without changing it into anything.
  • Chick Magnet: Milton, with a smattering of Kavorka Man. He's downright rude to both waitresses, his hairpiece is godawful, and he's not actively looking for a hook-up (though the second time he doesn't turn it down), yet somehow they are both lusting after him the minute he walks in the door.
    • Milton and The Accountant both seem to have a supernatural ability to fight and to persuade and manipulate people.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Half the dialogue seems to consist of these, but Piper and the Accountant easily take the cake.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: "I never take my clothes off before a gunfight."
  • Cool Car: Plenty of them, including the titular car.
  • Cop Killer Manhunt: Piper killed two policemen who were unknowingly enlisted by the Accountant, posing as an FBI Agent. When the state troopers put up a road block for Piper and Milton, their leader notes that two of their own have been killed and in order to get even instructs the cops to aim for the suspects' heads.
  • Creepy Souvenir:
    • Jonah King has a cane partially made out of a human femur, which he reveals belonged to Milton's daughter.
    • Milton keeps Jonah King's skull as a souvenir after delivering on his promise that he would drink from it.
  • Cult: The Satanists who are trying to sacrifice Milton's granddaughter.
  • Deader than Dead: What the Godkiller does.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Accountant really enjoys what he does. When he meets a cultist who had his knees blown out by a point-blank shotgun blast:
    The Accountant: (cheerfully) Wow, those are fucked!
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The ammo the Godkiller uses.
  • Designated Girl Fight: To keep in the spirit of white trash cliches, this happens in a camper.
  • Destination Defenestration: At the end of the Designated Girl Fight, Piper throws her opponent out through the rear window of the camper.
  • Determinator: Milton and The Accountant; both won't stop at all to get to their goals.
  • Dirty Coward: Some of the cultists, while injured and dying, are complete and utter cowards who pathetically beg for the lives.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Jonah King's voice almost never rises above a casual conversation no matter how vicious the mayhem raging around him or how horrific the things he says and does might be.
  • The Door Slams You: The Accountant gets trapped in a wrecked police car. Two stoners stop to gawk at the wreck. The Accountant kicks the door off its hinges and it flies straight into the face of one of the stoners.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Milton and Piper call Jonah King "Dickless." Fairly self-explanatory. He doesn't like it.
  • Enemy Mine: The Accountant seems to go along with helping Milton when he learns that he is trying to save his granddaughter, and the fact Satan would not want a child sacrificed in his name.
  • Epic Battle Boredom: Both Milton and the Accountant pull this. Milton mows down a bunch of would-be assassins while having sex, and the Accountant causes a massive explosion in the middle of a roadblock while head-bopping to "That's the Way I Like It."
  • Escaped from Hell: Milton. Specifically referenced by The Accountant in the opening narration, albeit including the appellation "motherfucker."
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Remarkably, of all people, the Devil isn't really depicted as evil at all. The Accountant describes him as a well-educated guy who made one big mistake and, as punishment, has to spend eternity as the warden of the universe's worst prison. And as if that weren't bad enough, he has cults and madmen committing wanton acts of murder and claiming that he made them do it. He also despises those who murder children, especially when they claim to do it in his name. The Accountant himself, upon learning what the cult has planned for Milton's grandchild, lets Milton complete his mission before making him come back.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Every time The Accountant's hydrogen truck bumps into a police car, it almost always explodes for some reason.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Gun is called the Godkiller. It kills gods. Pretty good at killing mortals, too.
  • Exploitation Film
  • Faking the Dead: Milton, despite already being dead and eventually shrugging off a bullet through the eye, manages to pull this off in order to get Piper to leave him behind and take his granddaughter with her. The Accountant claims he's seen better performances.
  • Fanservice Extra: The movie isn't shy about showing nudity. Examples include the girl Piper's fiance is cheating her with, the waitress Milton nails in the motel, and at least one of King's female cultists who takes this into real Full-Frontal Assault territory during his New Era Speech.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Hell, obviously. Milton's punishment was being forced to watch his loved ones suffer. In the case of his daughter, witness her being brutally murdered and her body defiled.
    • The effect of the Godkiller. No Heaven. No Hell. No anything. You literally cease to exist.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Milton is shown to have been dead since at least The '90s and it shows, given how he seems a bit bewildered at how the world's changed. Not that it stops him from doing what he has to do. But averted with The Accountant, whose knowledge is both up-to-date and verges on encyclopedic.
  • Forced to Watch: This is what punishment in Hell is. All day, every day, you're forced to watch the suffering of your loved ones, with no way to intervene or block it out.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The aforementioned Fanservice Extra during King's New Era Speech.
  • Gardening-Variety Weapon: During the battle at Bull-By-The-Balls, Piper kills one of King's cultists by burying a hoe in his skull.
  • Generic Name: According to the script, the three generic mooks that Milton executes in the beginning are literally referred to as "Fucking Passenger", "Fucking Middle" and "Fucking Driver".
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The dead and demonic can slowly regenerate damage. The only exception? Wounds from the Godkiller.
  • Gorn: Hands blown off, kneecaps blown out, bullets in the eye...and all in glorious 3D!
  • The Grim Reaper: The Accountant has strong shades of this.
  • Groin Attack: Jonah King killed Milton's daughter's husband and forced her to give him a blowjob at gunpoint after taking her baby girl from her to use in a sacrifice. She bites off his dick in response, after which he cuts off her head. Milton and Piper keep calling him "dickless" in reference to this.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The cultist charged with holding on to Milton's granddaughter eventually refuses to give her up.
    • It's implied she would have let Jonah kill the baby though because when The Accountant asked her if she would she hesitates then The Accountant tells her he'll see her in Hell.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Minor example: Jonah's necklace, the "symbol of power" behind his "Satanic pact," is used against him. Twice.
  • Hollywood Satanism: Jonah and his cult are this. Interestingly, the actual minion of the devil, who is there to take Milton back to hell, is actually a pretty swell guy, and states that the Devil doesn't really approve of Jonah and his cult.
    Cultist: It symbolizes our pact with Lord Satan!
    Accountant: [sarcastic] Oh, you have a pact? Funny, he’s never mentioned it.
  • Hood Hopping: The Accountant makes this look easy.
  • I Love the Dead: When Piper puts up too much of a fight for Jonah King's liking after he and his cult kidnapped her, he tries to kill her and decides to defile her corpse afterwards.
  • Immortal Breaker: The Godkiller can obliterate the souls of mortal and immortal beings alike.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Played with. Point blank while both were standing still, Jonah managed to execute one of his mooks and blow out Milton's eye with a single bullet apiece. When aiming at a windshield four to seven feet away on a car that's currently keeping pace, Jonah closes his eyes, turns his head and unloads as fast as he could by fanning the hammer. This tends to follow with every attempt on the good guys, except for plot points such as Milton shrugging off the cop's torso shot.
    • All of Jonah's shots hit the hood or grill and the car dies seconds later, so perhaps he's a better (or luckier) shot than it appears.
    • It looked like he shot the car on purpose to disable it. He had already shot Milton in the face and it didn't stop him so it looked like he was was trying to slow him down.
  • Instant Runes: Milton's Depleted Phlebotinum Shells give these as their trail.
  • Ironic Hell: There's fire and burning in Hell, but the worst part is that you're forced to watch the suffering of your loved ones and you're completely unable to do anything about it. Or at least most of the time, as some people apparently get angry enough to break out.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The Accountant is fond of this.
  • Large Ham:
    • William Fichtner is clearly having a lot of fun every moment he appears on screen.
    • Billy Burke as well.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted when Piper fires the Godkiller at the cultists. Milton doesn't have this problem, but then again, this is a guy who fought his way out of Hell.
  • Love Redeems: Toyed with. While Milton's whole motive is born of love and the desire to rescue his granddaughter, the film makes it clear that Milton is perfectly aware that, given the way he lived his life, he probably deserved to end up in Hell.
  • Lysistrata Gambit: Piper withholds sex from her boyfriend till he proposes. It takes him two days to break down and pop the question.
  • Marked Bullet: The bullets for the Godkiller all have Deus Velox Nex inscribed on them, which is loosely translated into: God's swift [violent] death.
  • Meaningful Name: Milton is named after John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost.
  • Moe Greene Special: Milton. He gets better.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Charlotte Ross (who made a stir on network TV with her infamous nudity on NYPD Blue) as the waitress who takes Milton for a round in the sack (while interrupted by a gunfight) and spends most of her screentime completely nude. Averted with Piper; although the resume of Amber Heard was full of this trope to this point, Piper is rather chaste aside from a pair of reasonably short jean shorts.
  • The Namesake: The license plate on Piper's car is "DrvAgry."
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The teaser trailer leaves out the supernatural elements, making it look like a The Fast and the Furious clone.
  • New Era Speech: Jonah King gives one to his crazed cultists shortly before the final battle.
  • Noodle Incident: Frank used his girlfriend's pink dildo. We're not told just what he did with it.
  • The Nothing After Death: While normally the dead go to the afterlife, the Godkiller obliterates the soul.
  • Not Hyperbole: At one point, Milton declares an intention to drink his next alcoholic beverage out of Jonah King's skullcap. After the final battle, he actually makes good on this threat.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: When The Accountant goes from a forest to the diner, when Milton gets from the diner to outside it to just by where Piper's car stops, how The Accountant seems to easily keep pace on foot while everyone's racing around in cars and ignoring speed limits and traffic safety laws, and when The Accountant and Milton vanish while Piper and Webster both glance at the baby for Milton's fake death, then when they re-appear afterwards.
  • Off with Her Head!: Jonah King killed Milton's daughter this way. Specifically, he cut off her head after she cut off his...smaller head.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Accountant's reaction when he realizes that Milton is aiming the Godkiller at his face.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Amber Heard does a consistent job on her Texan accent until the end; she was unable to cry and keep her twang at the same timenote .
  • Our Demons Are Different: Satan is said to be well-versed and an all-around pleasant guy who finds nothing quite as irritating as when babies are sacrificed in his name. Also applies to the Accountant, as he seems to be a pretty nice guy, all things considered. He even lets John drive his car back to Hell while he sits in the passenger seat.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Milton, to an extent, who is something of an edgy '90s Anti-Hero version. He slaughters the cultists en masse and shows absolutely no mercy towards them, especially their leader Jonah King, whom he erases from existence with the Godkiller and uses his skull to drink some beer from. The villains are really bad to make this serviceable. These people are a baby-sacrificing cult, and King is a sadistic rapist, murderer and power-tripping maniac.
  • Pet the Dog: John Milton was a bad man, a criminal, and a terrible husband. But he really did love his daughter, and he has enough affection for Webster to keep him from going with him on either of his suicide missions.
  • Phrase Catcher: Milton keeps being greeted by old acquaintances with "I thought/heard you were dead!". This continues until he encounters Webster who knows that Milton is dead. As in he was a pallbearer at the funeral.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Jonah King's murder of Milton's daughter is one half of what sets the plot in motion. For the other half, see Would Hurt a Child.
  • Police Are Useless: Setting aside their utter failure to do anything useful about Milton or the Accountant, special mention has to go to the point where, after one of their number has been exposed as a member of Jonah's cult and has direct contact with him (keeping in mind Jonah is a wanted man), that same trooper shows up at Jonah's ceremony, unimpeded.
  • Product Placement: If you want directions to the hiding place of an evil Satanic cult about to sacrifice an innocent baby, Google Maps is the only way to go.
  • Psychopomp: The Accountant seems to be an unusually aggressive version of this; instead of guiding souls to their destination after their initial death, he's sent out specifically for "repeat offenders." This is further emphasized by his Swiss-Army-coin being a reference to, among other things, the fee needed for Charon's services. Although he does know exactly when people will die, which seems to imply that he does normally guide the souls of the dead to the Afterlife (or at least Hell) in his regular capacity. He has no problem bumping up that date if it suits him, though, as seen in his casual conversation with Jack McGee's character. McGee asks if "The Accountant" is supposed to mean anything, while the Accountant dismissively replies, "It will if I decide to add you to the books."
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Accountant and surprisingly, even Satan, who simply carry out their duties without malice.
  • Refuge in Audacity: This is how Milton stole the Godkiller. The Accountant is amazed that he managed to steal it, to which Milton replies that he simply walked in and took it.
  • Revenant Zombie: Milton himself falls into this category.
  • Right Through His Pants: Milton never disrobes before gunplay.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Basically why Milton broke out of Hell, as well as the plot. Also (sort of) the reason claimed behind the cult's actions, going by Jonah's occasional exposition to his followers. "A world that has shunned us, unleash a plague, yadda yadda."
  • Rule of Cool: Does anything in the film make sense? No. Does anything need to make sense? Hell no!
  • Running Gag: The Accountant telling various evil people that he'll see them again, with various amounts of time attached to it. Implying that that's how long they have to live, and they are going to Hell.
  • Satan Is Good: Not quite, but it seems he's not as bad as he's made out to be. The Accountant describes Satan as being a quiet, well-read man who's simply doing his job as the warden of what is basically the afterlife's prison. Of note, Satan apparently hates it when children are sacrificed in his name. Word of God says there is nothing supernatural in the entire film aside from Milton, the Accountant and, of course, the Godkiller. Jonah King is just a madman, and the human sacrifice would have won him absolutely nothing. The Accountant actually points this out before the film is even half over; a cultist claims to serve Satan...
    Accountant: A pact, huh? Funny, he's never mentioned you.
  • Shoot the Fuel Tank: Milton tricks a car of cultists into jumping over the top of him, and them shoots the fuel tank as the car is overhead. It explodes into a fireball.
  • Shout-Out: John Milton.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    Jonah 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: Yeah? Well, between now and then... (cracks neck) ...I'mma fuck you up.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: The Accountant and Piper, although the former mainly relies on Cluster-F-Bombs while the latter is happy to throw in a nice assortment of other vulgarities as well.
  • Skull Cups: Milton eventually makes good on his promise to drink his next alcoholic beverage from Jonah King's skull. For practicality's sake he drinks from the skull cap so the booze doesn't drain from the eye sockets or mouth.
  • The Sociopath: Jonah King, 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.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Accountant is never seen outside of a suit and tie ensemble, and generally uses a formal mode of speech, but likes to pepper his sentences with tons of profanity.
    • Honestly, "disrobe before gunplay," "defile your corpse," this movie is this trope. All these southern "gents" putting on vocal airs as they drive around and kill people.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the second half of the movie, Oklahoma police herd Milton and Piper into a roadblock in order to execute them for their earlier cop-killing. Until the protagonists were about to be shot, music was either non-existent or appropriately grim. Then the Accountant drives in from behind the roadblock in a hydrogen fuel truck, speeding straight towards the cops and driving through their cars to get to them, explosions abounding (though nobody gets hurt—this time). What starts playing? "That's the Way I Like It" by KC & the Sunshine Band, on the Accountants' radio, while he bobs his head to the music.
  • Stupid Evil: Specifically, violating Rule 104, albeit with a pentagram scar on the cultist in the Oklahoma police department, as shown by The Accountant.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Piper, constantly.
    • Jonah boasts that he can't be killed by anything of this Earth. Neither Milton nor The Godkiller, of course, are in that category.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Why have a shoot-out scene and a sex scene when you can combine both?
  • Too Dumb to Live: About the only thing the cultists are good at is getting themselves killed.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailer depicts The Accountant as being the main villain when it is actually Jonah (the cult leader who kidnapped Milton's granddaughter). The Accountant is mainly there to get Milton back into Hell. They also implied that Jonah was the one who killed Milton and that the baby was his daughter, not his granddaughter.
  • Under the Truck: Milton drives his car underneath the hydrogen tanker as it flips over at the police blockade.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • Subverted. Piper pulls a come-hither move on a bar employee and tells Milton she's off to "paint her nails." Cut to the bar guy literally painting her toenails; he even lampshades it by asking, "Are we going to do it?" She tells him that it would depend on how well he would do her nails...
    • "Aim for their tires."
  • Villainous Rescue: Milton and Piper are stuck at a police blockade about to get gunned down. Then the Accountant drives up in a hydrogen transport truck to the tune of "That's The Way I Like It," clearing a path for them. He even insists on being thanked for it later.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: The Godkiller. Milton doesn't plan to shoot the Accountant with it. He only needs the otherwise-invincible Accountant to be threatened by the weapon, allowing him to do his work unimpeded. It's possible he did mean to kill Jonah King with it specifically, but it was mostly luck that things ended that way.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Frank invokes this after he clocks Piper in the mouth, knocking her down. The first hit is justifiable in self-defense, as she was actively whaling on him. The second hit, not so much, since it was out of spite for her spitting blood on him, and then he would have completely crossed the line by beating her face in for breaking up with him after she was already down and losing consciousness if not for Milton's intervention.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jonah King's intent to sacrifice Milton's baby granddaughter to Satan is the other half of what sets the plot in motion.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The female cultist who has been caring for Milton's baby granddaughter finds herself unable to harm the child when Jonah King orders her to sacrifice the baby.
    • Satan himself really hates it when crazy devil-worshiper-wannabes sacrifice children in his name.