Thanks to Hulu. Here’s one I was wanting (sort of) to see. Now I have. It’s Gone in 60 Seconds, from 2000. It’s a Touchstone production from Walt Disney Studios, directed by Dominic Sena. Details are from Wikipedia.
Unless you’ve been asleep, you know this is about stealing cars. More specifically, this is a car movie. It’s all about cars, and it starts this way. Nicolas Cage is Randall “Memphis” Raines, a master car thief who’s gone straight so his brother, Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) won’t get mixed up in the business. That doesn’t work. We see Kip and friend boosting a Porsche, from a dealer showroom no less. The heist is carried out to precision, but the takeaway is amateurish, as Kip, driving, does everything you would want to do to attract the cops.
That requires that Memphis Raines, now employed running a go-cart track out in Sticksville, be called to the rescue.
It turns out that Kip has contracted with sadistic criminal master mind Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston) to steal 50 pieces of high-end street iron. With the cops breaking up Kip’s operation, Kip is on the hook to Calitri, and Calitri is not the one you want to disappoint. As an inducement for Memphis to step in and fill the order, Calitri handcuffs Kip into a car that is about to be crushed at a recycling plant.
Memphis attempts to refund Calitri’s down payment ($10,000), but Calitri demurs, figuring to blackmail Memphis into completing the order (all 50 cars) for $200,000 and Kip’s life.
I’m not getting into the plot, but Memphis pulls in some previously retired notables and completes the order. All except one. Memphis gives himself the job of cobbing a 1967 Ford Shelby GT500, which he names Eleanor. Big scene in the movie. Cops are after Memphis and the GT500, and he sees his chance to escape, using a rescue vehicle’s ramp to jump a massive traffic tie-up on a bridge.
Memphis gets the GT500 to Calitri, but badly damaged and a few minutes past the deadline. Calitri figures that’s a good enough excuse to kill Memphis and keep the $200,000.
Suffice it to say the sadistic Mr. Calitri comes to an untimely end, with Raines saving the life of Detective Castlebeck in the process. This gets Raines a pass on the 50 cars stolen, all being restored safely to their owners, even the GT500 (Raines’ crew are expert restorers). All the boost specialist go back into retirement.
So what’s wrong with this movie? Start with the basic plot.
Kip took $10,000 down and a contract to deliver a list of 50 cars. He failed and with distinction. Smooth operator Calitri plans to recoup how? He’s going to threaten the life of Kip and even Memphis if they don’t fulfill the contract in 48 hours. That’s going to work?
Attempting to fulfill the 50-car contract in 48 hours is a schedule for disaster, which is what makes this movie exciting. There are 50 ways this can go wrong, and only one way it can go right. A better bet would be to drop a dime on Calitri and let the police, who are already onto Calitri for capital murder, take care of the matter.
Besides, words are spoken, and the contract is sealed. Really? What kind of contract is that? There is no guarantee that Calitri will keep his end of the bargain after receiving the 50 cars on schedule. What’s to keep him from reneging, killing Memphis and/or Kip and keeping the $200,000? Which was likely his plan all along.
Yes, none of this washes. Add the incredible leap across the traffic jam on the bridge, and not much is believable here.
This was co-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, famous for the CSI series, Without a Trace, and Cold Case for TV. His film credits include Beverly Hills Cop, Flashdance, Top Gun, The Rock, Con Air, Armageddon, Bad Boys, Enemy of the State, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
You may also have seen Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in Justified which ran from 2010 to 2015. I caught the series on Amazon Prime Video late in 2016. No plans for a review, however.