Going For It:
- A movie about someone who escapes from hell in a muscle car to shoot the shit out of people
- Female lead, Amber Heard, is literally just a walking Maxim spread, replete with witty banter and cut-off jean shorts
- Features the music of T-Rex, Unkle, and Peaches
- Muscle cars
- Car chases
- Violent bloody deaths
- Shot for 3D for maximum in-your-face Xtreme-ness©
The Case Against:
- We at MMG are Nicolas Cage apologists, but even that has its limits...
- No movie hero, especially an anti-hero, should be called Milton through the whole movie (we don't care if it is a last name!)
- Did we mention that the movie hero, who escapes hell, is named John Milton?! Yeah, real subtle...
- The music is jarring and distracting, often with little-to-no place in the scene it's played
- 3D Xtreme-ness© isn't pulled off very well
- Terribly written
- The tits belong to a busted ex-stripper type
So many people are quick to rip on Nic Cage. We here at MMG will eventually convince you otherwise; he was brilliant in Adaptation, and far more than capable in MMG-favorites The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off. This movie, however, will not convert you to the Church of Cage (which, coincidentally, is on one of his private islands). He is dreadful in this movie: mostly he drawls sleepily through his lines as if he were just shoved onto the set from his trailer while still in the middle of a Quaalude haze. His delivery lives on another planet from the other actors, the script itself, and even the scenarios he is put in. Other times his actions are stilted, jerky, and sudden with no pacing whatsoever, such as when he creepily mouth-rapes a once-raring-to-go diner waitress. It's difficult to tell if he picked this role and this movie and this acting style for any reason other than to further his own legend as an eccentric with no real place on film. Mission accomplished, Mister Cage. Mission accomplished.
The movie itself is written a pair of fellers (one of whom doubles as director) who knew they wanted to make a Man Movie. Unfortunately for us, the viewers, their resume features a lot of dreck with the same failings. Their heart seems to be consistently in the right place, and we as lovers of all things Man Movie laud any return to grindhouse, exploitation, and cheeseball horror... the problem is that they are just not very talented.
And so we find ourselves with a movie full of ripe premises and promising situations, that falls completely flat. This could have been the movie that every father would show to their sons on their 13th birthday. Instead, this is just another 90+ minutes relegated for an eternity of dollar bins at Wal-Mart and liquidations at video stores everywhere.
One last plea to the writers, Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier. Guys, we get it. You like Stephen King and Sam Raimi. You think you're clever for being able to work in a wink and nod to an epic poem about the devil and the fall of man. But do us a fucking favor and don't name your characters King, Raimi, and Milton. It's pretty sophomoric, and that's saying something... considering what your movie is about.