A master car thief comes out of retirement to steal 50 cars in
one night in order to save his brother from a ruthless crime boss.
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Directed by Dominic Sena
Written by Scott Rosenberg
Starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi,
Delroy Lindo, Robert Duvall, Christopher Eccleston,
Scott Caan, Timothy Olyphant, Will Patton,
Chi McBride, Vinnie Jones
Remake of 1974's Gone in 60 Seconds
Nicolas Cage has the unique ability to either make a bad movie good or make a bad movie worse, depending on how far he's willing to go. His performance in Gone in 60 Seconds goes a long way towards improving a film that would be forgettable without him. Coasting off of his late 90's action success with hits like Con Air and Face/Off, Cage brings his gravitas to grand theft auto, leading a crew of surprisingly impressive character actors to do the impossible: Steal 50 one-of-a-kind cars in one night.
Cage plays Memphis Raines, a retired car thief who is forced back into the life by English gangster Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston, in an underrated performance), who holds his brother hostage. What follows is an exciting set-up to a plan that is cheesy as hell, but wildly entertaining because nobody takes it too seriously. The film is essentially one giant buildup to the car chase finale, which may not be the most memorable, but is exciting enough to make the film feel worth your time.
The best thing about Gone in 60 Seconds are the little moments, like Memphis amping himself up to "Low Rider" by War just before the big heist. It's these bits that help keep the film from flying too close to the sun, as is the case with a lot of action films that try to be the next Die Hard or Bullitt. All it takes is a little self-awareness and your film goes from being ridiculous to somewhat worthwile.