GONE IN 60 SECONDS
Unrated Extended Edition
Review by Gordon Justesen
Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Delroy Lindo, Will Patton,
Christopher Eccleston, Chi McBride, Robert Duvall
Director: Dominic Sena
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Features: See Review
Length: 127 Minutes
Release Date: June 7, 2005
I think so.”
you sure? Cause you just went through a wall.”
Every year, or
rather every summertime it seems, audiences are treated to the super-charged,
kinetic frenzied, action packed movies of producer Jerry Bruckhiemer. In the
past decade, Bruckhiemer has produced some of the most successful action movies,
including ones he produced with longtime partner Don Simpson, who died in 1996.
Such films include Crimson Tide, Bad Boys,
The Rock, Con Air, Enemy of the State, Armageddon, Remember
the Titans and Pearl Harbor.
to get more attention than most producers do, most likely because about all of
his movies are about the same, frenetic, blazingly intense, and purely
high-octane action extravaganzas. If a film carries his name, as well as his
fierce, thunderous movie logo, chances are the movie is the same, and Gone
in 60 Seconds is truly of film of that nature.
It’s a rousing
entertainment package that is the epitome of perfect summertime entertainment.
It won’t give you much to think about, but the eye candy and blazingly loud
noise of the film will surely glue you to your seat. To this day, I still find
this high-powered action chase movie far superior to both Fast and the Furious movies.
The movie moves as
fast as the 67 Shelby that plays a huge part at the movie’s end. Former
retired car thief Randall “Memphis” Raines, played by a fiery and
irresistible Cage, is soon forced back into the world he once left behind. His
young brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) has run into a serious debt with a local
crime lord named Raymond (Christopher Eccleston).
Persuaded by a
former partner in crime (Will Patton), Raines attempts to get things straight
and save his brother from harm, but Raymond will only let Kip live if Memphis
does a job for him. The job is to steal 50 selected cars in four days time, or
Raymond will have Kip killed. Although Kip got himself into this mess, he
somewhat blames Memphis for leaving him and his mother and moving away when he
retired from his former profession.
Another thorn in
Memphis’ side is Detective Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) who pursued Memphis
before he went straight. Once he sees Memphis back in LA, Castlebeck immediately
suspects that he’s up to no good. He warns Memphis that he will be keeping a
close eye on him, and that if he even attempts to jaywalk, he will put him away
Randall hooks up with his former partner (Robert Duvall), and they assemble a
group of car thieves, which include a disgruntled driving school instructor (Chi
McBride), a monstrous non-speaking presence known as The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones),
and Memphis’ former flame (Angelina Jolie), who as gone straight working as a
bartender. Kip also brings in some friends of his to help out, and the crew
begins to go to work. In order to keep the job as low profile as possible, the
thieves wait until the night before the deadline.
This isn’t the
sort of movie where one would seek any form of character development. It carries
the Bruckhiemer tradition of quick camera cutting, fast paced individual scenes,
and some hard edged dialogue, not to mention many moments of genuine humor.
It’s a very fun movie indeed, but I do have a couple of quibbles.
The first is the
movie’s villain. To get an idea of how menacing a movie villain is, I feel he
needs to have more screen time. This movie’s villain, played by British actor
Eccleston only appears in the film in two key scenes which strangely find
themselves in the beginning and end of the movie. He’s seen threatening
Memphis’ brother, and is not seen until the movie’s climax takes place.
The other problem I
had was a corny subplot involving Memphis eluding the clutches of a rival car
thief, played by rapper Master P, who should definitely consider keeping his day
job. He utters the movie’s most pathetic line when chasing Memphis and Kip to
a diner where some cops are. He then looks at his crew, who is armed with guns,
and asks “You boys ready to play a little pin the tail on the donkey?” What
in the world is that question supposed to mean? However, I did garner a laugh
buy the end of that scene which redeemed it.
The movie also
redeems itself enormously with one of the most fantastic car chases ever
captured on film, in my opinion. It has the Memphis being pursued by the cops in
a 1967 Shelby Mustang, the last of the 50 cars he has to steal. The car, who
Memphis has named Eleanor, speeds through downtown LA, alleys, and hits up to
160mph while in drainage ditch, and Memphis even eludes a police chopper by
entering a tunnel underneath an airport, where the chopper is unable to
interfere with air traffic. And just when you think the chase is over, it
isn’t. Memphis leads the cops through a work site, where a gas tank is hit and
seems to fly in every single direction, and it’s a hoot watching the mustang
speed through out of the gas tank’s path. It also leads to an outrageous stunt
on a bridge, which I won’t spoil because it simply has to be seen.
So in short, Gone
in 60 Seconds is worth seeing for Cage’s sparkling charisma, it’s often
funny moments, and of course, the near 30 minute car chase that would make a
terrific movie all its own. It’s not the best of the Jerry Bruckhiemer bunch,
which includes The Rock, Bad Boys II and Enemy
of the State, but certainly doesn’t rank with the worst of bunch, such as Flashdance, Dangerous Minds and Coyote
Ugly. No, this one ranks in Bruckhiemer’s good enough to recommend
category, which would also include Con
Air, Top Gun and Days of Thunder.
BONUS: Nicolas Cage
did a great deal of his own stunt driving in the movie.
This movie first
hit DVD shelves less than five years ago, and I quickly labeled it as one of the
best looking discs of the year, and this extended version, complements of
Disney, hasn’t changed a single bit of the glorious presentation. The
anamorphic picture works in just about every different type of shot, be it a
nighttime shot or a bright as can be daytime shot. In both cases, what you get
is a sharp, dynamite level of crisp imagery. Colors are most fantastic, as well.
To simply put it,
this movie was made for DVD in terms of the sound quality. When originally
released, I hailed this as the best sounding disc of 2000, and the fast and
furious 5.1 mix wins the checkered flag once again. There is never a moment of
dullness in this presentation, as there is plenty to keep the channels occupied
as far as set pieces, dialogue, music playback, and roaring engines are
concerned. When the Shelby GT kicks into high gear for the climatic chase, hold
on tight! Quite simply an awesome sounding disc!
With some minor
adjustments made, Disney has tricked out this DVD to an even higher status in
the features department. To start with, the film itself has been injected with a
fueling 10 extra minutes of new footage. Featured amongst the extras is “Zero
to 60”, a Script to Screen Featurette, “The
Big Chase”, a Behind-the-Scenes look at the Thrilling Chase, “Stars on the Move”, Character-Driven Featurettes. Also included
is"Acton Overload", a music video style highlight reel of key
sequences, “Wild Rides”, a
Car Stunts Featurette, and “Conversations
with Jerry Bruckheimer”. Lastly, there is a Theatrical Trailer, some
bonus previews, and a music video for The Cult’s “Painted on My Heart”.