Movie Review By Heather Clisby
What tragic irony that a movie about professional thievery is a complete rip-off to the moviegoer. "Gone In 60 Seconds" stars Nicolas Cage as Memphis Raines, a legendary car thief who makes a comeback to help save his brother, Kip, played by Giovanni Ribisi. Blah, blah, obligatory emotional codswallop, blah-blah. Whatever. Who cares?
Up front admission by me: This film is based much too loosely on the 1974 original classic, "Gone In 60 Seconds" written and directed by Toby Halicki. This masterpiece instantly became one of my family's favorite; when it appeared on television annually, the date was circled on the Clisby calendar. Why I can no longer even find this gem in print anymore is fuel for another days rant . . . .
So, here is another example of the Hollywood formula destroying what was just fine in the first place and the trailers misleading all of you. It's been two days since my Squeeze and I saw the film and he continues to shake his head and mumble under his breath, " . . . only ONE car chase. One! I can't believe it, one!" Mind you, he has not seen the original film that I openly pine for but was profoundly disappointed nonetheless. Think about it.
The plot is that 50 cars must be stolen in one night, some of them are classics - including the unicorn of cars, a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500. Way too much of the movie wastes precious time on back story - family emotions, completely useless characters (including one who admittedly has no skills other than ordering pizza) and, of course, those wonderful over-orchestrated music cues that you've heard me rant about often.
Co-starring Robert Duvall, who adds grit and style to the film, and Angelina Jolie, who adds lips and some strong estrogen to the mix, the problem is not with the actors who have fun and enjoy the proximity of beautiful cars as much as we do. However, too much focus is on them and not these big purring machines! They should be the stars, period.
Did I mention there was only one car chase? It made me want to go to Jerry Bruckheimer's house, the film's highly over-rated producer, and steal his car in broad daylight. (At least then I might get TWO car chases . . . ) What a phenomenal rip-off! Another irony is that the press kit - which offers details on the first car purchased by each actor - actually proved to be more entertaining and true to the spirit of the original film.
The best moment of the film is when Kenny, a senior member of Memphis's team played by Chi McBride, is stealing a gorgeous vehicle, and a young carjacker makes an attempt to take over with lots of yelling and gun waving. Kenny not only creams the guy but yells at him for his lack of professionalism and appreciation for what he considers an art form. "What you need is a role model!" he yells at the pile of thug on the street.
More cars, less people, more cars, less emoting, more cars, please?
© 2000 - Heather Clisby - Air Date: 6/7/00
"Movie Magazine International" Movie Review Index
"Movie Magazine International" Home Page