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Hollywood Spotlight - Reviews [Gone In 60 Seconds]
ORIGINAL FULL FILM REVIEW
GONE IN 60 SECONDS
Friday, June 9th, 2000 Nationwide
Rated PG-13 for violence, sexuality and language.
Scott Michael Rosenberg
Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi, Scott Caan, James Duval, Robert Duvall
· Synopsis:[Recommended Reading] Gone in Sixty Seconds is about automobile aficionado Randall "Memphis" Raines, a car thief of legendary proportion. No fancy lock or alarm could stop him; your car would be there, and then suddenly gone in 60 seconds. For years, Memphis eluded the law while boosting every make and model imaginable. When the heat became too intense, he abandoned his life of crime and left everything and everyone he loved to find a different life. Now, when his kid brother tries to follow in his footsteps, only to become dangerously embroiled in a high stakes caper, Memphis is sucked back into his old ways-in order to save his brother's life.
ou just got in from a 10 hour day in your 26th floor, high-rise office. All day long, you lazily orchestrate corporate strategy, chatting busily away on your hands-free, cordless phone as you rock yourself in your leather chair. Yes, you've got it rough. You've got a headache, a tinge of strep throat and to top things off, a chipped nail. The engine purrs to silence as you pull into the drive and the lights recede into the hood. In moments your heels scuff loudly on the marble floor, reverberating off the vaulted ceilings and mahogany walls. At the sound of your voice, lights blink to life and the projection screen flicks up images of the day's news as you pour yourself a glass to take off the edge. Reaching for your last cigarette, you realize that you've left your favorite, vintage Zippo lighter in the car. You step out into the moonlight and stare in disbelief, a light, cool breeze teasing your hair - your ivory white, 1999 Lambourghini Diablo is gone.
If you think you feel bad, imagine what the forty nine other victims will think when they come to the same realization the next morning. Jerry Bruckheimer's summer hit, Gone In 60 Seconds drops you smack, dab in the middle of the world of grand theft auto with a BANG! "Memphis" Raines [Nicolas Cage - The Rock, Con Air, 8mm and more] grew with an affinity for high-rolling automobiles, but not being blessed with a silver spoon in his mouth, he found other means of "acquiring" the vehicles which he so adored - he'd steal them clean and quick. But as the vice started getting too close, the heat began to rise and Memphis knew that it was time to take a big chill before his kid brother, Kip [Giovanni Ribisi - Saving Private Ryan, Boiler Room, Mod Squad] would learn to follow in his footsteps and suffer a life of crime. But some years later, Memphis returns, only to find that his brother has indeed followed in his footsteps, and has gotten in too deep, to boot. Following a failed heist, Kip's very life is on the line, and the only thing that will save him now is if big brother answers to the call of Kip's employer, Raymond Calitri [Christopher Eccleston - Heart, eXistenZ, Elizabeth] a couthless villain who will stop at nothing to come through on his black market business deals. Calitri faces Memphis with the ultimate ultimatum: complete the deal, fifty pre-selected cars delivered in three days' time, or his loved ones will suffer the consequences of his failure. Now being a notorious car theif, you can't just turn to the police for help when thugs like Calitri rub you the wrong way, so Memphis begins to assemble a team to assist him in the boost job. Among the team members is Memphis' ex-partner-in-crime, Sara "Sway" Wayland [Angelina Jolie - Girl Interrupted, Bone Collector, Pushing Tin, cast for the part of Lara Croft in the 2001 film "Tomb Raider"], a fiesty, tough-as-nails chick who has what it takes to get the job done and cranks the heat up yet another notch. By the time the team is ready to make their move, they've got 24 hours to complete their run - and Detective Roland Castlebeck [Delroy Lindo - Cider House Rules, Devil's Advocate, Ransom and many others] is hot on their tails!
First of all, big "thumbs up" to Jerry Bruckheimer, Dominic Sena, and the entire cast. Gone In 60 Seconds plays out well, has an understandable, intelligent plot, has an all-star ensemble cast, and to top it off, excellent filming of high-speed action. It's always nice to watch a film which is as energizing as this one, leaving you with a lingering sense of clarity about a world which you might never have otherwise been privy to witness. The real star of this film is clearly Nic Cage, easily dominating the screen over Angelina Jolie, but don't fret, she will have her chance to make up for it in the upcoming Tomb Raider film. This being a movie centered on high-speed driving action, Cage fills the shoes and grips the wheel perfectly with his own personal background and love for cars to shove him head first into the part. Many other actors have their moments to share in this film too. I thought Giovanni Ribisi made an excellent, stereo-typically ignorant kid-brother, a compliment to his part. Delroy Lindo has an amazing onscreen presence which seems genuine and cunning - hopefully we'll start to see him in more, higher-profile films like this one. With Robert Duvall, Will Patton anc Chi McBride to back up the more experienced cast, the lesser experienced members had a chance to make themselves seen, and in no way detrement the film. Perhaps that is a negative way of looking at it, but when you mix up a cast of such diversified acting experience, results tend to vary. Gone In 60 Seconds pulls it off valiantly. The part of evil-doer Calitri played by Brittish actor Christopher Eccleston was an odd one. His quirky nature just didn't seem to convince me that he was serious about what he said. I'm certain that it was no fault of the actor himself, but that of weakly designed characteristics of the role which led to him being hard to take seriously.
Now you know you're watching a high-budget film when you see an all-star cast topped with about a five million dollar inventory of cars (give or take a million). Some of the finest automobiles ever made are featured in this movie, but only a few are given an abusive run worthy of high-speed action filming. And you ain't seen nuttin' until you've seen Cage's run in Eleanor, a mint condition 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby that captures the climax of the film. I was glad to see that the story did not lean necessarily towards some shiney, new MacLaren or Diablo simply because of the prestige, but you've got to wonder if and how much Ford paid for this endorsement.. Be warned, however - by experience I must advise you that watching these high-speed sequences may give rise to certain rebellious instincts which lead to obnoxious driving habits on the way home from the theater. Please drive safely after the showing. Yes, the police know about the affects of films such as this and do wait around outside theaters for the movie to get out, just to catch those who are suceptible to such extraneous influences. Fortunately for my driving record, I was not one of those who were caught. Additionally, Gone In 60 Seconds presents in rapid succession about 40 different ways to break into, disable and boost many different types of high-rolling vehicles. For those of you who would find the notion of this hobby romantic and exciting, be advised that this film should not be used as reference material as many of the techniques would not work and/or require resources beyond the ability of most to obtain. The movie has great use of technological gadgetry for assisting in the thefts - good luck finding this stuff at your local hardware supply.
Interestingly, for those of you who have not done your homework yet, Gone In 60 Seconds is a re-make of a 1974 film bearing the same name. Well more of a re-vamp than a re-make, really as the film's overall storyline was overhauled to contain a known history, stemming from which is the situation at hand and finally ending in a big, bloated, Hollywood, feel-good conclusion. Actually the only elements which remain from the original 1974 cult--classic are the auto thefts and fantastic, conceptual high-speed, bang-em-up auto chases in which the theif narrowly escapes impossible situations. Bruckheimer's version is clearly more artistic, sophisticated and well thought out. The opening credits alone show very clever use of computer generated footage of a stop-watch in action - hard to explain, but intriguing to watch - a very clean-cut design and artistic touch.
There's definitely something of Dukes of Hazzard in this film such that you would expect to hear the banjo fire up at any given turn. But instead, the new film is packed with modern rock, electronica and funky beats from some of today's hottest labels. All the music went very well with this high-energy movie, and I'm looking forward to seeing which tracks are selected for the soundtrack.
Gone In 60 Seconds is a thrilling ride on the wild side. (And thank goodness, for once a movie title which has absolutely nothing to do with the movie!) If you went to see Mission Impossible 2, then it's time to get back in line at the theater for the film that could very well put an end to Mission Impossible 2's as-yet-unchallenged summer boxoffice run.