Who's In It: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke, David Morse, Tom Atkins, Katy Mixon
The Basics: Nothing says love like a father escaping Hell in order to avenge his daughter's brutal murder and rescue her baby from Satan worshippers. Nic Cage plays Milton, who very obviously drew his acting inspiration from the real-life exploits of his namesake John Milton of Paradise Lost fame. He and his his ragtag group of do-gooders, including ass kickin' hottie Piper (Amber Heard) and the silent-but-deadly Webster (David Morse), tear apart Louisiana in an effort to right the wrongs of a really evil/pesky/unattractive cult. To complicate matters further, Satan wants Milton back in Hell and sends out The Accountant (William Fichtner) to collect him. Ultimately, the whole deal leaves Louisiana wishing it had Katrina to deal with again instead.
What's the Deal: Anyone who doesn't like this movie is a stick in the mud, blind, or lying. I can't remember a time that I had so much fun in a straight up exploitation flick--this movie knows exactly what it's doing from the get go and hits the throttle hard. Nic Cage had said no more than 3 words and I was already sold--apparently Hollywood is finally getting back to casting him as a crazy person, which is where he is best. His character is the center of a typhoon of explosions, sex, guns, and muscle cars that is fed and accelerated by his wonderful co-stars, and the result is a completely thrilling and hilarious action movie. If you don't like this movie, I might have to punch you in the face in what I now call "A Piper Special."
Straight From My Notebook: Amber Heard is singing Peaches! She drops the F bomb even more than me! Cage is having sex with a lady, shooting bad guys, AND swigging Jack ALL AT ONCE! True love is handing over your Chevelle to a fugitive from Hell. The bar's name is "Bull by the Balls!" I just saw a human jaw get flung at me in THREE DIMENSIONS. Cult leader should consider removing excessively pointy pentagram pendant if ladies keep stabbing him with it. Cage guzzling beer out of human skull=I can die happy now.
So Shut Up: If you don't like this movie, because it is everything that makes exploitation flicks awesome. It is an expertly crafted piece of shoot-em-up cinema that caused an adrenaline rush that lasted well on into the night. And as I left the theater, firing up my Civic with Michael Buble pumpin' on the speakers, I made sure to scowl a lot and Drive AnGrae.