(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)
Why I added it to my queue: Because this is yet another of the endless "Let's Get Nicolas Cage Out Of Bankruptcy" genre quickies that this talented yet financially challenged actor has been pumping out every few months since 2009; and as regular readers know, I'm kind of fascinated with this string of B-flicks that Cage has been making (see for example my past reviews of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and Season of the Witch, with The Sorcerer's Apprentice and the remake of The Wicker Man still to come), because it seems that if Cage has to pay the bills, he's at least still going to do it through daring and weird projects.
The reality: Daring and weird! Because for those who don't know, despite the title this is not really one of those dreary "EXTREEEEME!" road-racing movies ala the "Fast and Furious" franchise, but instead an insanely over-the-top out-and-out fairytale, one in which Cage's character starts the movie by literally escaping from Hell in a late-'60s muscle car, and with such delicious touches as William Fichtner as a demon in human form, dressed like an extra from a Quentin Tarantino film and charged with tracking Cage down and bringing him back. As such, then, you need to go into this film with tongue already firmly in cheek, and knowing full-well that things get awfully silly awfully fast; but if you're able to get yourself into the right spirit, you'll find a very clever script by Todd Farmer (who up to now has been a pen-for-hire for a handful of those awful genre "reboots" we've been seeing lately from Hollywood), as well as a fine appreciation from director Patrick Lussier for midnight movies and what makes them work so well when they really click. Absolutely not for everyone -- and for those it's not for, they'll find this abysmal -- I suspect that the film's description alone clearly lets its potential fans identify themselves without too much mistake, and it should be approached with such a caveat in mind.
Strangest piece of trivia: The coin that Fichtner's character is always tossing is an ancient Greek obolos, a specific type of coin placed over the eyes of the dead as a payment to Charon the Ferryman, in charge of transporting souls across the river Styx and into Hades.
Worth your time? Yes, if you're a fan of non-ironically great midnight movies