Gone in 60 Seconds
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer makes a certain kind of film: a film for stupid people whose cinematic tastes can be summed up with the phrase "louder is better." His films are so colossally inane and make so little sense that it's like riding a partially-completed roller coaster. It's such a consistent formula, I'm not sure why it requires a director at all.
Memphis Raines (Nicolas Cage) is a car thief who has to steal 50 cars in 72 hours in order to keep his younger brother, Kip (Giovanni Ribisi), from being killed. It seems that Kip followed in his car-stealing brother's footsteps but messed up a job so bad that now he's going to be killed.
So, you get the gist. Memphis puts a team together and tries to elude the cop that's following him, Det. Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo). The crew includes Kip, Sway (Angelina Jolie), Otto (Robert Duvall), Sphinx (Vinnie Jones) and Astricky (Chi McBride). Each has a little quirk. Sway and Memphis used to screw. Sphinx doesn't talk. Astricky is clever. Otto is really old. In addition to being old, Duvall's performance is embarrassing. It's like he's still stuck in "The Apostle." Frankly, for how much dialogue he has, they could have just stuck a mannequin in his place and moved his mouth digitally. Ditto for Angelina Jolie. Oh, she's "edgy" again in case you were wondering.
I remember being in driver's education watching a video when I was 16. This film reminded me of that video -- you know the one where your car is going down the road happily and then every manner of vehicle that can back out into the street at the worst time does? The snowball of stupidity that seizes this film is pretty astounding. Aside from dialogue that sounds like it was lifted from a used car commercial, you can bet your house that the mute Sphinx will find a way to surprise everybody in the end and say something clever (I don't think you can get Actor's Guild accreditation without speaking). And Castlebeck, who seemed to be pursuing Memphis in a reasonably logical fashion, thus creating tension, spends the last half hour or so sitting in a van. Of course, as this is a Jerry Bruckheimer film, implausibility is pride.
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