A trio of upcoming Hollywood projects share titles and plots that are so similar, we’re having trouble telling them apart. What we can tell you is that all of them loosely revolve around cars and the angry dudes who drive them. We know this because aside from spending hours re-reading plot synopses and watching trailers, they’re respectively called Faster, Drive Angry 3D, and Drive. (And no, none of these is related to the next Fast & Furious movie, due out next year.) They also all center around three pedal-happy individuals, who are either out for revenge, involved in a bank robbery gone wrong, or both. So for your benefit, and ours, we’re sifting through these projects to see which ones will be clunkers, and which ones you should be racing to see. (And to see how many car puns we can come up with.) Start your engines!
Faster: This revenge thriller has the benefit of a head start, hitting theaters on November 24, just in time to break up the monotony of intelligent awards contenders. It stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as an ex-con looking for revenge after his brother is killed in a botched heist. Directed by George Tillman Jr., who last made the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious, the movie costars Billy Bob Thornton as a grizzled cop on the verge of, what else, retirement. The movie’s trailer promises a lot of rubber burning, guns blazing, and jaws clenching. We counted six tire-skid sound effects in the sixty second teaser, and with a tagline that preaches “Slow justice is no justice,” Faster looks like it’s all about the engine. We have no idea why.
Drive Angry 3D: The first 3D entry in the speed genre stars Nicholas Cage sporting yet another miraculous hairdo. Coming to you from the director of My Bloody Valentine, the film features Cage as a father seeking revenge for the death of his daughter. Like Faster, the cars being used have a retro feel, probably in an effort to conjure up images of classic ’70s car-chase movies like Bullitt and The French Connection. The fillmakers held a panel discussion at last summer’s Comic-Con, where a really short teaser was revealed (Watch it here.) Needless to say, we’re less geared up for the three-dimensional car chases than we are for another hammy entry into the Cage canon.
Drive: Of the three films, this is the one we know the least about. It’s also the one we’re most looking forward to. Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn has yet to make a mainstream Hollywood movie, but his previous efforts (Bronson, Valhallla Rising, The Pusher Trilogy) have all been original, guttural works of art. Drive is still miles from a release date (some time next year), but what it does have is a cast, and what a cast it is. Ryan Gosling replaces Hugh Jackman as a stuntman by day and a getaway driver by night. When a robbery goes, you guessed it, horribly awry, Gosling must flea with an ex-con’s girlfriend, to be played by Carey Mulligan. Adding to the cast’s must-see factor are Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, and Albert Brooks as the villain. So drive indeed, all the way to the movie theater.