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GONE IN 60 SECONDS

SYNOPSIS:
Randall 'Memphis' Raines (Nicolas Cage) has left his highly successful car stealing days behind years ago. Now, when his kid brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi), tries to follow in his footsteps and gets caught in a criminal world that threatens his life, Memphis is given a chance to save him: deliver 50 exotic, high performance cars on a foreign dealer's shopping list to major badman Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston), all intact and within two days. With some old blood, Otto (Robert Duval) and new, ex-girlfriend Sway (Angelina Jolie) to help him, Memphis sets about the task - and very nearly pulls it off perfectly. But the cops are aware something is going down, and Detectives Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Drycoff (Timothy Oliphant) are ready to pounce, and force Memphis into desperate measures.

"No doubt to director Dominic Sena's chagrin, the production notes call it 'Jerry Bruckheimer's Gone In 60 Seconds'; this is not so much a case of director envy as producer style. Bruckheimer's stamp is all over Armageddon, Con Air, The Rock, Crimson Tide, Days of Thunder, Top Gun …. He thrives on the sort of commercial blockbuster that only Hollywood can produce, and his task is to make sure he gets the right person for the right job and the right stunt/FX budget. Fast and furious, Gone In 60 Seconds is everything the trailer and your instincts tell you it is. (But if you're reading a review of it for krissakes, you're not even in the target demographics.) The one-line concept is of an ex-crim called back to do one more, big caper; this time for compelling emotional reasons. The thing that saves the film from its basically banal (entertainingly empty, thrillseeking, technically excellent, visually interesting, occasionally funny, tension-sprung dynamically structured) predictability is Giovanni Ribisi's sensational performance as little brother to Nicolas Cage's Randall 'Memphis' Raines. The film's central role goes to Cage, but it is Ribisi who gives the film its heart and its emotional anchor, not just because the script has him as the catalyst for the plot action, but because he creates a marvellous character - and one that is totally different to anything he's done before. Gone is the sniveling oddball, gone are the victim-ish mannerisms, here is Giovanni as the fully flawed kid brother who discovers family ties are worth having - even at a price. So does Memphis, of course, in the moral closure of the story. Duvall and Jolie (and the rest) play token roles well enough. So if the car chases, soundtrack explosions with matching music and head snapping editing are too intense for you, try focusing on the kid."
Andrew L. Urban

"It only takes about 60 seconds to forget you've even seen this no-brainer provided you don't walk out with brain damage after sitting through the bombardment of sound and image. In a reversal of the norm they saved the best for first - an opening title sequence heavy on hot primary colours which glides lovingly over the bodies and chrome trim of some truly awesome cars. The effect recalls the erotic intensity of Kenneth Anger's Kustom Kar Commandos (1965) but there any similarities to art stop. Not that this really any place for subtlety but at least we could have expected better story construction than finding love interest Angelina Jolie without a significant scene until the 65 minute mark and a villain who plays almost no part in proceedings outside of the opening and closing minutes. On the crash and chase meter it clocks in reasonably although not nearly as well as Toby Halicki's 1974 original which had the good sense to restrict character to quick sketches and simply get on with the business of destroying as many cars as possible in the allotted running time. After all, that's why we're here, isn't it? This one suffers from pretensions of meaningful drama and thematic importance which its cliched script cannot deliver, serving only to bog things down when it's spectacle and motorised mayhem we're screaming for. Any action film trying to pass itself off as "character-driven" should be treated with suspicion. Listen for the dialogue howlers about "brotherly love" in the final scenes and you'll know what I mean. Don't be afraid to laugh out loud in the cinema; others will feel encouraged and join in. On the plus side there are funny contributions from TJ Cross as the fast-talking Mirror Man and Vinnie Jones, everybody's favourite former hardman of English football, shows he's got the chops for a long career as a philosophising heavy even though he only scores a couple of lines of dialogue. If you want to see how this sort of thing should be done look for Eat My Dust , Grand Theft Auto or even Smokey And The Bandit on home video. This has just enough excitement to prevent it from being a total turkey (including the best flying automobile scene since Speed) but it comes too close too often."
Richard Kuipers

"As slick and shiny as the chrome on a Chevy convertible, Gone in 60 Seconds is a great ride produced with the usual Jerry Bruckheimer flash. The film positively purrs along for most of the time. At the end, however, it runs out of juice, relying on a finale that’s become as worn as the tyres on an old clunker. Still, getting there is a thrill a minute. As you’d expect, the chase scenes are spectacular; showcasing some fantastic driving - and some entirely implausible situations. But you’ll find yourself hoping these guys will actually make it; despite the fact that what they’re doing would land them lengthy jail terms in the real world. It’s played out to a pumping soundtrack which captures the film’s moods (not that they change very much as it runs frantically along). A couple of points struck a sour note, including a rather contrived situation where keys are lost; but they’re more than made up for by the film’s wise-cracking sense of fun. Nicolas Cage displays his star qualities in a role entirely suited to his laconic style. Angelina Jolie similarly doesn’t seem to be stretched as the sharp-witted Sway. Christopher Eccleston, despite his limited screen time, is effective as the nasty Brit criminal, while Robert Duvall similarly makes the most of his limited opportunities as Otto. But probably the most exceptional performance is Delroy Lindo’s as the frustrated but persistent cop Castlebeck. Gone in 60 Seconds won’t put any major intellectual strain on the audience. This is a fun trip - nothing more, nothing less. A film to simply put the top down and feel the wind in your hair."
David Edwards

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

GONE IN 60 SECONDS (M)
(US)

CAST: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Duvall, Delroy Lindo, Will Patton, Chi McBride

PRODUCERS: Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson

DIRECTOR: Dominic Sena

SCRIPT: Scott Rosenberg, Toby Halicki

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Paul Cameron

EDITOR: Tom Muldoon

MUSIC: Trevor Rabin, Paul Linford

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jeff Mann

RUNNING TIME: 112 min

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 29, 2000 (June 26 in Victoria)

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista Home Ent

VIDEO RELEASE: February 7, 2001

VIDEO SELLTHROUGH RELEASE: August 22, 2001







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