Life in the fast lane
Clutch players
Gone in Sixty Seconds
Review by Ross Anthony

The film opens with style, reversing the Bruckheimer road logo like a video game that rides us out onto the narrow and slick top edge of a ticking stopwatch's panning secondhand. The music pounding and pumping like adrenaline itself. You'll be psyched.

Despite the title and great introduction, the exact reason for this full minute of seconds is never mentioned; though the challenge to steal 50 premium cars in three days certainly implies swiftness.

I love this cast, Giovani Ribisi, Cage, Jolie, Lindo, Scott Caan, Duvall. These are real actors. But this film gives them little road upon which to spin their wheels. Angelina Jolie has fewer lines than Trixie Racer.

But, I know, I know, this is an action film and hey, I love action as much as the next guy/gal. However, when action and acting mix like air and fuel, they can rev up some serious RPMs. Add a good story - now we're talking breath-talking speed. But this script details only the bare-boniest of premises, providing up and down dialogue that leaves our all star cast idling for the most part. Hence, don't expect every lap to be a record breaker.

But there is the action. And a fine chase scene that jet-boosts this four-cylinder thumper out of a below average rating.

Legendary car-thief Memphis Raines (Cage) comes out of retirement to save his lil' bro' from being killed by big time, bad guy Calitri. Lil' bro' screwed up a heist job, so Calitri uses his life as leverage to steal Memphis from his honorable life into performing a near impossible job - 50 cars in 3 days.

Instead of just killing this Calitri to rescue his brother, Memphis endangers the lives of our all star cast, as well as at least as many civilians. Lindo plays the hard-butt detective looking to finally catch the fast and slippery Memphis. The film attempts to make this vendetta personal, but Cage's apathy towards Lindo defies the try. In fact, nearly all efforts at the warm and fuzzy fall short. "Gone in Sixty Seconds" is a "getting the old gang back together" type flick, but instead of reuniting for the big game or the big concert, these good citizens reunite to steal cars. Doesn't quite get you all choked up, now does it?

Actually, the thefts of the 49 cars are almost incidental, it's that last one that really matters. It's exactly the Ford GT that graces the film with a full powered, rumbling, twisting, skidding, car chase that rips up the theater. I loved it! The camera intermittently cuts to a close up of that middle brake pedal again and again ignored by Cage as he steers clear of countless spinning police vehicles.

The big bad guy proving to be weak plot ammunition, a rival car-stealing gang is included to aggravate the hijacking plight. Additionally, the absolute glamour of these gorgeous vehicles is disappointingly underplayed.

It's a Volkswagen of a movie with Mercedes actors, some good laughs and one 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 chase scene that leaves tread marks all over the silver screen.

  • Gone in Sixty Seconds. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi, Angelina Jolie, TJ Cross, William Lee Scott, Scott Caan, James Duval, Will Patton, Delroy Lindo, Timothy Olyphant, Chi McBride, Robert Duvall, Vinnie Jones.
  • Directed by Dominic Sena.
  • Written by Scott Rosenberg.
  • Produced by Jerry Bruchheimer at Touchstone.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:10:07 PDT