By Herb Kane | June 15, 2000

THE CRITIC DOCTOR EXAMINES: Lou Lumenick (New York Post), Sean Kelly (DVD Channel News), Tom Meek (filmthreat.com), Stephen Hunter (Washington Post) and Charles Savage (Miami Herald) – PLUS the two TV critic shows: “The New Movie Show” with Chris Gore (FX Channel) and “Roger Ebert & the Movies” (Buena Vista TV).
* * (our of 4 stars)
Most movie critics say “Gone in Sixty Seconds” is a film where the title describes what happens to its plot and characters. Are they right?
Nicholas Cage plays Memphis Raines, a retired master car thief, who is forced back on the road to steal 50 cars within 72 hours because his nitwit brother, Kit (Giovanni Ribisi), screwed up a big heist. If he doesn’t, his brother dies at the hands of an evil crime Lord (Christopher Eccleston). A short deadline means one thing – FAST CARS!
Lou Lumenick (New York Post) comments on the car chase scenes, “It isn’t bad, but isn’t terrific, either.” Get a clue, Lou! “Mission:Impossible 2” got the best motorcycle chase this year. I say this movie deserves the best car chase.
Sean Kelly (DVD Channel News) said, “Big ‘thumbs up’ to Jerry Bruckheimer, Dominic Sena, and the entire cast. ‘Gone In 60 Seconds’ plays out well, has an understandable, intelligent plot, has an all-star ensemble cast, and to top it off, excellent filming of high-speed action.” Excuse me, Kelly – are you nuts?
Kelly’s review is easy to understand because it is not intelligent. I’ll grant him the “all-star ensemble cast” and “excellent filming of high-speed action,” but that’s the bread and butter of this film. The plot is full of cliché’s, amateur-like dialog and the premise has no torque. I’m still wondering how Raines convinced all those former car thieves to reunite and jeopardize their honest occupations just to save Kit’s butt. I’m sorry folks, but where’s the sympathy for this idiot? Brotherly love is not enough to make me WANT to save Kit. There was no character development whatsoever to fuel this plot.
One interesting character did pop up, though. Nope. It’s not the dog with car keys stuck up its bowels. I’m talking about a car thief known as The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones). He’s a silent, tough guy who bursts on to the scene in a fiery glow as the quiet hero; and provides for a funny surprise ending, too. What about the rest of the actors, including Kelly’s noted “all-star ensemble cast?”
Tom Meek (filmthreat.com) said, “The all star cast featuring Giovanni Ribisi , Robert Duvall and Will Patton are largely wasted, especially the lovely Angelina Jolie as Cage’s grease monkey ex.”
There is a spontaneous front-seat moment between Raines and Wayland (Angelina Jolie) rushing to have “sex in sixty seconds,” but they only manage to land a kiss. Wayland interrupts the moment and proceeds to steal a car. Raines got more action out of Eleanor, a hard-to-get Shelby GT 500 Mustang, than his old flame Wayland! Pretty sad that producer Jerry Bruckheimer (“The Rock” and “Armageddon”) made more romance out of a car instead of the beautiful Angelina Jolie. It’s no wonder Stephen Hunter (Washington Post) said, “It’s a movie that could honestly be said to star cars, not actors.”
If you want porn, though, you’ll get it. Charles Savage (Miami Herald) sums the movie up best: “.slickly produced pornography for the sports car lover, and little more.”
This week, “The New Movie Show with Chris Gore” (FX Channel) and “Roger Ebert and the Movies” (Buena Vista TV) are in agreement. Gore and Ebert both liked the action – but agree everything else sucked! The Critic Doctor concurs. This film screeches to a halt at two flat stars.
The title of the movie does describe the characters and plot, but also unveils what happens to your money when Bruckheimer gets you into the Movie Theater. Apparently, that’s all that mattered.
“Gone in Sixty Seconds” had exciting car chase scenes, but that’s not enough to bring this movie to the finish line.
— Critic Doctor

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