Kid brothers have been getting into trouble lately - in the movies that is. Last week, it was Jet Li losing his brother, and this week Nicolas Cage is out to prevent his li'l brother from meeting the same fate. The difference is that this one has a better premise and a time-tested brand of action.
Just when you thought that car chases are history, Gone In 60 Seconds
brings them back with panache. Not that they are the best to have hit the screen
or anything. I am sure that there have been ones that have been more thrilling
for reasons other than flair. French Connection, for one, had an unforgettable
one-take chase. It's just that this one is 'good'.
More than car chases, the movie is about car freaks and one 'furniture' freak. The best of the former is, of course, Memphis Raines (Nicolas Cage). Memphis is made out to be the best car thief that has ever been. But this legend decides to call it quits for reasons that are simple, but presented cryptically. Now, six years later, his younger brother, Kip (Giovanni Ribsi), heads down the same road with disastrous consequences.
Ray Calitri, a furniture aficionado, takes a bit of a fancy for dealing in
stolen cars. He has to deliver fifty top-end cars before long, and holds Memphis
to ransom over his brother's life. To extricate his brother from this mire,
Memphis is forced to make a come back - one that is something of a challenge
even to him.
Fifty cars, three days: that's the task, which Memphis plans to carry out on a single night with a gang that consists most of his old mates, not to mention some rookies, including Kip. The action that follows has the style that one would expect from such a thriller, with some light-hearted moments thrown in.
The movie is no great shakes when it comes to etching out relationships between the characters, but it does enough to prevent this one from being another exasperating saga of destruction. The supporting characters in the clique, especially the old-timers like Otto (Robert Duvall) and "Sway" Wayland (Angelina Jolie), give it a mature look.
The action and the nail-biting aspects have been mostly restricted to car theft
and chases. Needless to say, the best comes last. A particular brand of car
that has always got Memphis into trouble is the last one that he has to tackle.
Sharp turns, reverse driving and a long flight make this chase a thrilling one.
Nicolas Cage looks suitably frazzled as he plays a character who has been there
and done it all, and is forced to do it again. Angelina Jolie, with her coquettish
looks, doesn't get an opportunity to display her histrionic abilities. However,
her spontaneity ensures that she cannot be a let down, even in roles like this
where she is nothing but a glamour doll.
But there are some inevitable gaffes. The most amazing of them is the fact
that the screenplay takes liberties with the location of the movie. While the
setting is Long Beach, California, the gang lands in the LAPD impound to filch
The movie is worth your while if you feel like watching a thriller that manages
to amuse you a little, for genuine reasons. A little popcorn would go well with