In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.
A loyal and dedicated Hong Kong inspector teams up with a reckless and loudmouthed LAPD detective to rescue the Chinese Consul's kidnapped daughter, while trying to arrest a dangerous crime lord along the way.
Car theft in Long Beach went down 47% when Randall "Memphis" Raines walked away from the life. He gets dragged back into it by assuming the job his brother Kip screwed up for stolen-car broker Raymond Calitri: steal 50 exotic cars and have them on a container ship by 8 AM Friday morning, and he got this news on a Monday. With Calitri threatening to kill him and Kip, and the police GRAB unit breathing down his neck, Memphis reassembles his old crew and attempts to pull off the logistically impossible. Written by
Jeff Cross <[email protected]>
I feel that many of those who have reviewed "Gone in Sixty Seconds" have essentially missed the point of the movie. This is only peripherally a movie about car thieves. At its heart, this film is about cars. Many reviewers have criticized the film's characterizations and character development. Let's check the credits... uh huh, yeah, executive producer, Jerry Bruckheimer. I think it's a little unrealistic to walk into a Jerry Bruckheimer film and expect "Citizen Kane." That said, I thought the characters were certainly adequate. The villain was suitably unhinged and nefarious, and I thought Nic Cage did a great job as Memphis Raines. He is one of my favorite action stars; unlike Arnie, Sly, or Jackie, he can actually act, and this adds a whole new dimension to his characters that none of the other big action stars have. The closest comparison I can come up with is to the epitome of cool himself, Steve McQueen. The supporting cast was solid. Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Duvall and Angelina Jolie are all capable of far more than they are given here; all three of them could sleepwalk through their roles, but they do a solid job with what they're given. Angelina Jolie's character Sway was essentially throwaway eye candy; I would like to have seen the Memphis-Sway story developed further and made an actual part of the movie or scrapped altogether. Mirror Man is a wonderful character, and Scott Caan, one of my favorite young actors from his performances in "Boiler Room" and "Varsity Blues," did a good job in his all-too-brief role as Tumbler.
Enough with the characters, let's move on to the real stars, the cars. Many reviewers seem to have been disappointed with the car chases, faulting them for failing to turn sufficient numbers of exotic cars into flaming, cartwheeling wreckage. I say, HALLELUJAH!!!! The cars Memphis's gang steals are not just transportation. These cars (especially the '67 Mustang "Eleanor," the '70 Hemi 'Cuda, the '70 Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird and that flamethrowing Merc,) are breathtaking, agonizingly beautiful. They are truly works of art on wheels. Would viewers have been up in arms if filmmakers had destroyed a Van Gogh on film for sheer dramatic effect? Hell yeah. That's how gearheads feel when watching priceless, historic automobiles meet ugly ends simply because a movie studio can afford to trash them to make a profit. That said, I was glad to see "Gone" avoid the destruction of any truly cool cars, other than Eleanor, and gearheads will be pleased to note that the Eleanor crushed in the junkyard was a junk '67, stripped of all useful parts and given a good paint job. While on the subject of Eleanor, many reviewers have said that it was a replica '67 Shelby, and was a bad replica. Well, yes, technically it was meant to be a '67 Shelby. A tricked-out, customized, [email protected]$$ Shelby. It's not a bad replica, it's a spectacular custom. No, no Shelbys left the plant looking like Eleanor. If only they had. Aftermarket lighting, ground effects, hood, wheels, nitrous, roll cage... the list of modifications that have been clearly made to the car goes on and on, and the end result is one of the most beautiful cars the world has ever seen. The chase with Eleanor was very well done, except for that horribly fake-looking jump (honestly, with 90 mil to blow, couldn't you make that look better?) and the activation of nitrous at 7000 RPMs (I know all car guys got a laugh out of that.)
In the final assessment, this was a fun movie. If you want character development, get "Citizen Kane." If you want to see scads of cars trashed for no reason whatsoever, get the original "GI60S" or "Ronin" (home of the most overrated car chases in movie history.) If you want to see true-to-life, absolutely realistic car chase action, watch Steve McQueen's green '68 Mustang GT390 duke it out with the black Charger R/T in "Bullitt," or better yet, switch on NASCAR Winston Cup racing next Sunday. If you want to have a good time, enjoy a movie, watch some cool cars and some sweet driving, get "Gone in Sixty Seconds."
Postscript- if you liked this, you definitely need to check out the James Bond film, "Diamonds Are Forever," home of another amazing Ford Mustang chase sequence.
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