Gone in 60 Seconds Recap

Jamie

Memphis Raines was out of the game until he’s pulled back in for one last heist in order to save his little bro from a ruthless criminal. Faced with the seemingly impossible task of stealing 50 cars in one night Raines is undaunted because he’s just that good. Can he overcome the curse of Eleanor and save his bro before it’s too late? Find out in… Gone in Sixty Seconds.

How?! In a wholly original concept we are introduced to Memphis Raines, the best car thief history who is out of the game after watching too many of his friends go to jail or get killed. Unfortunately he’s about to be pulled right back into the game when he learns that his little bro is on the hook for a botched job and will be killed by ruthless furniture maker Raymond Calitri… he makes furniture… and boy is he angry about it. Anyway, Memphis gets the gang back together, including some young hotshot additions thanks to his bro, and start to scope out all fifty (!) of the cars he’ll have to steal in one night. Unfortunately Memphis is also super well known to the cops given that he’s the best car thief in history and they are also tagging along ready to nab him when he takes a wrong step. But this is Memphis Raines, best car thief in history, he don’t take wrong steps. On the night of the heist, things are going swimmingly: they are stealing cars and looking dope doing it. But when they attempt to steal a few “unstealable” cars tagged by the police Memphis’ Memphis-sense gets a-tinglin’ and he’s like “No way,” and basically they go and totally steal the cars from the police impound instead (take that, 5-0!). By the end of the night they start to hit some bumps in the road and one of his little bros’ best buds gets shot, so it’s all up to Memphis, the best car thief in history, to grab the last car dubbed Eleanor. He goes out and totes steals it, but the fuzz are all over him. He leads them on a giant chase and is basically the man and only survives by the skin of his teeth by jumping a million feet over an accident on a bridge. He arrives mere minutes late so Calitri, being ruthless, is ready to kill him, but his little bro comes to the rescue. In a climactic fight set in Calitri’s furniture warehouse/factory/office, Memphis and the police join forces to kill Calitri and then laugh about it. THE END.

Why?! Family, duh. Ever heard of it? Memphis was out of the game, man. He was the best, but he was out of the game. He wasn’t gonna come back, but gets pulled back in to save his little bro. As for the bad guy, he seems to have so little motivation it’s comical. He just kills willy-nilly and cares mostly for the beauty of wood and the craftsmanship of solid furniture.

Who?! Master P went uncredited as Johnnie B. in the film, the gangster angry that Memphis has returned to his turf. Interesting that he ended up uncredited in the role given that he has a number of lines and I mean, I wouldn’t think he would be embarrassed by the film or anything. Maybe his part was supposed to be bigger and he got mad about it? Or maybe it was always supposed to be an unbilled cameo. Hard to say with these things.

What?! For some reason in my head it’s way more common for a film to have the main characters quenching their thirst with the unequaled refreshment of a delicious Coca-Cola. But here our main characters are apparently a bunch of bozos as they can’t get enough Pepsi… gross.

Where?! Nic Cage is the king of Long Beach and he ain’t afraid to remind you. It’s LA all day, bro. But don’t worry about our boy Nic showing up in his old stomping ground, Det. Delroy Lindo, he just came in to catch a Lakers game *electric guitar*.

When?! I believe in my heart of hearts that you can get an exact date on this film. It’s just that my DVD copy I got was of such low quality that it actually hindered my efforts. My gut is telling me that it’s August. It feels like August… in the citaaay. F

I’m going to have to be honest here and it’s painful to say: this film is terrible. I really thought it was super dumb and bad and had so many characters and things going on that it all became a jumbled mess. There are only two good things about this film: 1. The music is actually really banging and sounds like Nic Cage is saving the Earth from an asteroid when he’s just stealing a bunch of cars. 2. Nic Cage. That’s it. It’s actually amusing that Angelina Jolie is so prominently featured in the advertising of the film because her part is miniscule and really poorly developed. But still better developed than almost everyone else. One problem for me I think is that I watched the original before this one and while that film is super low budget, poorly acted, and poorly written, the final 40-minute chase is way way better than any of the car action in this film. So that certainly didn’t help. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Gonna get them cars bro! And we’re going to look sweaty and dirty and gross while doing it. It’s about the fambly, bro. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This is Nic Cage all day every day. I’ve seen the film before, it is just ludicrous from top to bottom. But it is vintage Cage, so any revisit is well worth the price of admission. I remember … mostly just that they have fake fingerprints at one point. And they have to hack some ultra-sophisticated anti-theft device. Otherwise, I’ll go in as a clean slate (kind of, since I’ve seen the film at least three times). My expectations for the film: I needed one of two things to happen, either Nic Cage needed to be acting b-b-b-b-bonkers, or the film needed to have wall-to-wall absurd car “hacking” nonsense. I just didn’t want to be exhausted with the premise 30 minutes into the film.

The Good – The film is actually very well paced. It quickly gets into the action, Nic Cage assembles an interesting team, and we get to stealing some cars. This film is The Fast and the Furious before The Fast and the Furious. Legit, the second film would have seen Patton get killed during a job and Nic Cage seeks revenge, the third they get recruited by the detective to perform a sting, and from the fourth onward they are international spies. We’ll forget about Gone in 62 Seconds: Bangkok Hijinx. Nic Cage is right on the correct side of insane for me, I thought he was great in this film.

The Bad – The crew is so big. It is maybe four people too large. It is unclear what the point of several of them are, and you don’t really see most of them actually stealing cars. Speaking of which there really is too little in the way of interesting car stealing. Where’s the hacking and other magic nonsense they could have invented? There is a really dumb superfluous story about a rival gang, they don’t give Jolie or Duvall enough to do, and the detective story hinges on the police being genuinely dumb. The movie is not good … so why do I like it so much?

The BMT – Hmmmmm. I like the film. I think if someone wants to watch a really really dumb film starring Nic Cage, this is a pretty good choice. It isn’t a good movie like National Treasure, The Rock, and Con Air, but this is pretty close if you don’t mind it being aggressively dumb. So would I recommend it as a bad movie? No, but I would watch it again in a heartbeat. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, but just barely. Nic Cage was just b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers enough to get me to where I needed to be.

Roast-radamus – You know, this film could have really used a Planchet. It did have a great Product Placement (What?) with Patton in particular grabbing an ice cold Pepsi when talking with Nic Cage. You can definitely say this is a Setting as a Character (Where?) for California and Long Beach in particular. Is Elanor, the Shelby Mustang, a MacGuffin? … I don’t think so, it isn’t the thing they are going after, they are stealing 50 cars to save Kip’s life. And I could believe this gets a nod for Good in the end, just because that category is usually pretty sparse.

StreetCreditReport.com – Nice, we finally got one that actually made a top ten Worst Of list, this time for Rolling Stone. Also it made a more specific worst car films ever list. And in general the film has a multitude of fun articles online, from people arguing about how they actually like the film, to more specific takedowns involving minutiae of the film. A truly divisive film. BTW, the first thing there, “why steal Elanor in broad daylight?”, was my number one pet peeve in the film. The car is incredibly conspicuous and the police are spotting it from miles away whenever Cage made an escape.

You Just Got Schooled – And guess what? This is a remake. The original is something of a cult classic. The 1974 film was directed, written, financed, starred, stunt coordinated, etc. etc. by  H.B. “Toby” Halicki whose own cars (including both cars used as all four Eleanors seen in the film) were also used in the film. Notable for its 40 minute chase finale, the film itself is actually a lot more fun that you’d think, and it makes a lot of sense that it is a cult hit among car aficionados. Cheap looking, poorly acted, and poorly written, Halicki would eventually aim to remake the film himself in 1984 with more money, but he sadly died during a stunt before the film could get finished. The premise of the original is actually a lot more solid than the remake, but I can see why the destructive and truly criminal nature of Halicki’s character was thrown out in favor of a redemption story. Still, fun to see what a true independent film of the 70s looked like. Kind of amazing what he was able to do it totally out of the studio system at the time. D remake, the new one just didn’t have the same heart or love of cars to serve as a proper remake of the original.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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