Gone in 60 Seconds

All Jerry Bruckheimer films have a certain flair for action and quick cuts between scenes that distinguish them from other films. It is a distinct style much imitated recently as attention spans get shorter. Gone in 60 Seconds is a Bruckheimer production, which ends up being both good and bad. The action, pace, and music of Bruckheimer moves translates well into this remake of the 1974 cult classic of the same name. But one big criticism of Bruckheimer style films is that there is little character development and a thin story. Unfortunately, that translates here too.

Memphis Raines (Nicholas Cage, 8MM, Bringing Out the Dead) returns to a life of crime in order to save his brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi, Boiler Room, The Mod Squad). They are both car thieves, but Memphis managed to turn straight six years ago. This also meant that Memphis had to leave and start over somewhere else. When Kip botches a special job for psycho Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston, Elizabeth, eXistenZ), Calitri forces Memphis to complete the job. Memphis has four days to steal fifty exotic cars for Calitri. Unlike the previews, which madly accelerates across the screen, Memphis wastes the next three days in Scott Rosenberg's (High Fidelity, The General's Daughter) script, effectively grinding the story to a halt. Memphis does give a reason for not doing anything, but it only works in the context of the script.

Memphis spends the time slowly assembling a team and scoping out potential targets. Most of his teammates, like himself, reformed, and he must somehow convince them to again return to crime. Angelina Jolie (The Bone Collector, Girl, Interrupted) is second-billed, but does not appear in much of the film at all. Memphis must also deal with his old nemesis, Detective Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo, The Cider House Rules, Romeo Must Die), who is intent on capturing him. Amazingly, Gone in 60 Seconds manages to take Cage and Lindo, two actors with commanding on-screen presences, and make them boring. Lindo practically does nothing but sit down and complain for most of the movie. The two do not in any way seem like smart, experienced adversaries. Robert Duvall (A Civil Action, Deep Impact) also treads water in his thin role. It takes talent to write out the abilities of the four above actors and make them mundane. Two smaller characters played by Chi McBride (Disney's The Kid, The John Larroquette Show) and ex-soccer player Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) end up stealing the show from their more talented co-stars. McBride has most of the one-liners in the script, and Jones

Director Dominic Sena (Kalifornia) has lots of experience with music videos (and it shows), and a good eye for action shots. To his credit, he manages to keep Gone in 60 Seconds appear as if it's moving even when little is happening. Each character has an encyclopedic knowledge of cars and car history, and watching them prepare to steal cars is interesting up to a certain point. Thus, the climactic car chase only gives the audience a mild amount of excitement at the end, especially after watching the excellent chase scenes from Ronin. Like most other action movies, Gone in 60 Seconds is a lot of flash, with little underneath.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 59 minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, sexuality, and langauge.

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