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Gone In 60 Seconds
cast: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Will Patton, Christopher Eccleston, and Robert Duvall

director: Dominic Sena

113 minutes (15) 2000
widescreen 2.35:1
Touchstone DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Jeff Young
With grand theft auto and joyriding crimes a serious problem in many American cities, how do you make a big film about mercenary car thieves without alienating those in the audience who have had their motor stolen or vandalised? They aren't going to easily accept the zero to hero casting of Nicolas Cage as a retired booster on a mission to save his brother from a vicious gangster. Dramatising the thieves' love of cars is the wholly successful answer to the filmmakers' moral dilemma.
   The supporting players in this likeable remake of H.B. Halicki's rarely seen 1974 original movie (there was a sequel in 1982 that's even more fun!) include Angelina Jolie, Will Patton, Christopher Eccleston, and Robert Duvall. Eccleston turns in an overblown performance as the villain of the piece, but the movie isn't overly concerned with characters. It's nominally about a hastily assembled team brought together by Cage and Duvall in order to steal a shopping list of 50 cars in just one day. Having been pressured into a renewed life of crime, Cage rises to the occasion, even tackling the one vehicle - 1960s' sports car, Shelby Mustang, that he's never been able to get away with, previously.
   The actual car chases are kept to a healthy minimum, but the stunts do tend to be of the outrageous jaw-dropping variety (such as jumping right over the top of a major traffic accident, or the damaged gas canister becoming a slo-mo torpedo) towards the end. The romanticism of cars as desirable and sexy is emphasised by giving the 50 target motors female names (there's a helpful listing of all these in the liner notes) and this fits well into the action film's highly fashion conscious appeal. Overall, Gone In 60 Seconds is a tempting package of cool drama, speed-freak thrills, and terse humour.
   The DVD extras are worthwhile. Conversations With Jerry Bruckheimer is an interview with the producer (seven minutes), supplementing text-only biography. Action Overload is a montage of car stunt highlights (85 seconds); The Big Chase reveals secrets of three major stunt sequences - L.A. Streets (five minutes), The Naval Yard (over three minutes), The Big Jump (three minutes); Stars On The Move is entry to 11 brief character profiles (total 15 minutes); 0-60 is about the cult car 'Eleanor' (four minutes), Wild Rides looks at how the actors learned stunt driving. There's also a rock video Painted On My Heart by The Cult, trailer (two minutes), scene finder (33 chapters), Dolby digital 5.1 sound (English, Russian), subtitles (six languages), plus a smartly illustrated ten-page foldout booklet with production notes and cast info.


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