If Dominic Sena’s turbo-charged action-thriller Gone In 60 Seconds was a car, it would probably be a second-hand souped-up GTI – lots of noisy power behind that sleek and sexy frame, yet alarmingly unreliable and altogether a rather soulless ride. Ridiculously expensive too.

A little bit about the vehicle’s history. Randall Raines (Nicolas Cage) is a retired car thief who earns an honest buck working at a service station. He’s drawn back into a life of crime when his brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) gets into a spot of bother with local heavy Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston).

Randall must steal 50 classic cars of Calitri’s choice within the space of 24 hours – and deliver them all to a cargo ship by 8am – to save Kip from execution at the hands of the mob. As good as Randall is, he knows this job is far too big for just one man. So he reluctantly tracks down the members of his old team to join him in one final fling to save Kip’s hide.

On board are ageing mastermind Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall), Randall’s old flame Sarah Wayland (Angelina Jolie), lifelong pal Atley Jackson (Will Patton) and mortician-cum-car jacker The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones). Tracking down the 50 cars chosen by Calitri is a snap, but given the tight time limits, Randall cannot afford for anything to go wrong.

With the minimum of preparation time, the plan is put into action, but little do Randall and the team realise that detectives Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Drycott (Timothy Olyphant) have been tipped off about the operation, and are lying in wait.

Gone In 60 Seconds is a remarkable film for many reasons. Not only does director Sena achieve the impossible, and make the various car chases look pedestrian, but he test drives Scott Rosenberg’s slight screenplay for almost two hours and tells us virtually nothing about the characters.

Cage whispers all of his lines which – and it’s a small relief – sometimes get drowned out by the roaring of engines, and Jolie perfects her pout. Rising star Ribisi is stuck in one-dimensional supporting character hell along with Duvall, Patton et al, with only Vinnie Jones making any impact as the mute hard man who takes personal offence (and a petrol bomb) to anyone who dares to disrespect his buddies.

Action set-pieces, which should rock, are edited so briskly that most of the tension and thrills drain out of the picture. Windscreens shatter, tyres spin, police cars crash in spectacular fashion but excitement and adrenaline are running on empty.

Yes, if Gone In 60 Seconds was a car, it would be a second-hand souped-up GTI. Adored by boy racers with more money than sense, and desperately in need of a full service. Ready for the scrap heap.

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: 09 June 2000
: Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi, Angelina Jolie
: Trailer
: 700 MB
: Action | Crime | Thriller

: English

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