Gone In Sixty Seconds: Director's Cut

Gone In Sixty Seconds is a movie about cars, lots of cars, and the girl that got away, and speeding cars, and stealing cars, and brothers that stick together. How original. Yet again, Jerry Bruckheimer manages to basically make the same film and put it out on the big screen and later DVD for suckers that like to waste hours of their life in front of the television. In this one, stuff blows up, cops tail criminals through busy streets, cars take leaps over hills or anything else that halfway resembles a ramp, and somewhere in the mix, someone, somehow, will get it on. Gone In Sixty Seconds shouldn’t describe the time it takes to steal a car, it should be the time it takes to get out of the theater or hit the power button on your remote. The film stars Lisa Marie’s leftover ex-husband, Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall, and Giovanni Ribisi. While Ribisi, Duvall, and Jolie do a great job, Cage leaves something to be desired. He couldn’t look anymore like he’s on Valium, and to top it off (although some people would complain he suffers from the George Clooney head bob) during the entire film, Cage looks like a little boy that suddenly is stricken with a case of the runs and can’t find his favorite magazine to take into the john with him. Every line is said with the same dull gusto we’ve come to know and love as Cage plays himself, movie after movie, and 60 Seconds is no exception.

With this “high-speed” boring movie, there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before in some form or another. Cage’s brother, played by Ribisi, owes some mob-like guy the favor of stealing a set list of fifty cars in exchange for $200,000. Now, the trick is, like all movies where the main characters are criminals, don’t let the cops catch you. Wow, way to bang out new and fresh story lines! If Cage doesn’t come through with the cars Ribisi “gets it.” And we’re not talking about a Happy Meal. The clincher? They only have seventy-two hours to do it in, of which they waste forty-eight talking about stealing cars and changing their minds as to whether or not they will steal them. But then again, Ribisi could “get it” if they don’t. So they do!

For anyone that’s played Grand Theft Auto III you’re familiar with the idea of having a list of cars to steal and bringing them back to the garage for money. Aside from doing everything by yourself in the game, this movie is no different and I think the whole idea probably came from the game, too. Much like any video game, or any other bad movie, most of the characters have these all too cool nicknames that stretch beyond any realm of realism. Memphis, The Sphinx, Johnny B, Tumbler, The Carpenter, Mirror Man, Sway, etc. Come on! I know some of them are named Bob and Jane, and most everyone I know goes by their given name regardless of their profession. Do we really think it says Mirror Man on the guy’s Visa check card? No. It’s Gary Malone, or Ned Carlson; something like that.

Throughout Gone In 60 Seconds there are cheap lines about brotherly love, and lots of ridiculous and ludicrous chase scenes (that Bruckheimer and the gang call “the big chase,” “high octane,” and “ride of your life”). There are also police detectives driving the standard undercover $60,000 BMW (what?) during these collision filled chases, and at one point, two people, that aren’t in anyway related to the story, other than they own a car, have sex. By the way, she wears a black thong. Like that, in any way, shape, or form, has anything to do with this already weak and unbelievable movie about stealing cars!

Not only all that, but the timeline seems off. It will be pitch dark and one hour later it looks like it’s probably noon. Also, they toss in the typical trick of having someone that is mute talk by the end of the film. I predicted that as soon as the character was introduced. How, you ask? Because it’s been done! And as a side note to Sena and Bruckheimer—symbolism ain’t symbolic if it’s obvious crap, so stop trying to sneak stuff in on the side. Gone In Sixty Seconds is one more for the garbage heap (a little better than Taxi but not by much) and not quite the “wild ride” I thought I was promised. Not only does it seem to be based on Grand Theft Auto, but also, the game is a lot more fun. I know the first thing I want to do after such a heart-pounding film is dive right into the extras, because I just can’t get enough! Yeah, right. The last thing I want to see after this film is more information by it’s creators trying to justify making Gone In Sixty Seconds. The first feature to attempt this is “Conversations with Jerry Bruckheimer” (of which there is also a filmography and biography). You start to see how Bruckheimer blows things up in a so-so formulaic way. You get clip after clip of the same basic format for showing a collision and it’s effects. Does he know fire is not the only reason to make a movie? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “we are more than slobbering cave people that like to stare at the sun for entertainment, and we can require more than a few explosions and teenage ‘sex-capades’ to enjoy a film.”

Likewise, no one wants to see a one minute montage of shots from the film put to music and played out of chronological order, thus “Action Overload – Spectacular Adrenaline-Pumping Scenes – Music Video Style” sucks. Next, with “0 to 60” you just watch Cage, Sena, and Bruckheimer talk about the film, the explosions, and the chase scenes. “Wild Ride” shows some random shots from the driving school they sent some of the actors to, and everyone drools over how Cage did most of his own driving. Where I came from, rednecks can spin doughnuts on pavement, but Cage got to go to school for it. He’s a big boy, now! Except for the dangerous stunts, which someone else did. Don’t hurt the talent.

“The Big Chase” is broken into three sections, LA Streets, Naval Yard, and The Big Jump. I’ll warn you here, there is no Play All feature, so you have to select each one of these clips. I hate that. Mostly they are trying to show off their stunts, but fail to mention the suck factor the movie carries with it. What’s really sad is that I actually believe Sena and Bruckheimer want us to be loosing our minds at how awesome the stunts are, which just isn’t going to happen. To top it off, Sena mentions a “secret lab” a bunch, but I can’t imagine it’s anything so secret that no one else in Hollywood is using CGI yet. Ohhhhh, they have a secret lab! Not much of a secret if you keep bringing it up.

Finally, after the trailer and a really horrible music video, there is a “Stars on the Move” section. Here again, the feature branches out into five different sections, and then, three of them branch out into more sections of their own, but there is still no Play All. The reason you want a play all here is because the clips only range from about thirty seconds to two minutes long so the level of disinterest only rises each time you have to move the arrow down and select again. Thirty seconds later, move the arrow down, and select again. It’s not strenuous work or anything, it’s just hard when you know they could have thrown a Play All on there and been done with it.

This clump of “Stars on the Move” covers eleven of the characters in what the box calls “character-driven featurettes.” I have to say, how character-driven do you think the movie is if they only devote thirty seconds to a character? Not much! This is a film about stealing and maybe crashing cars, not people, and wasn’t made for people to enjoy. It’s filmmakers indulging in their own fantasies of making big chase and crash films and no longer surveying the scene for interest before they shoot the film. Shame on them! Shame on them.