Reviews

Gone in 60 Seconds: Director's Cut (2000)

Jesse Hassenger

The trailer for Gone is a particularly unpretentious distillation of the film's key elements.


Gone in 60 Seconds: Director's Cut

Director: Dominic Sena
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall, Giovanni Ribisi, Delroy Lindo, Vinnie Jones
MPAA rating: PG-13
Studio: Touchstone
First date: 2000
US DVD Release Date: 2005-06-07
Amazon affiliate

Finally, one of the most exciting and best-edited pieces of cinema of the decade is available for endless repeat viewing, in a special-edition package. Yes, the trailer for Gone in 60 Seconds is on DVD. The movie is included here too, in "unrated director's cut" form, and it's pretty entertaining. But the trailer is a masterpiece; heedlessly kinetic, it gets your blood racing. The idea of a trailer trumping the movie it promotes is not new. But the trailer for Gone is a particularly unpretentious distillation of the film's key elements: a gang of expert car thieves, led by the "retired" Randall 'Memphis' Raines (Nicolas Cage), need to steal a lot of cars in a little bit of time. Elaborately choreographed, mayhem-heavy car chases ensue. Much of the trailer's footage is culled from one long sequence towards the end of the movie, and of course the almost 90 minutes of buildup to that chase isn't as energetic as the first 30 seconds of the trailer. How could it be?

Still, the movie itself has the slick energy typical of a Jerry Bruckheimer production. Gone in 60 Seconds caps the unofficial trilogy of Cage/Bruckheimer collaborations that started with The Rock (1996) and continued with Con Air (1997). Like the best Bruckheimer action movies, this one is ridiculously well cast. There is no logical reason to mine the rich talents of character actors like Robert Duvall, Delroy Lindo, Timothy Olyphant, and Chi McBride to play cops and robbers, except perhaps to inspire gratitude in discerning audiences, in which case I guess it worked, because I was happy to see all of them.

Cage is a master of the showing-up technique, appearing in action trash and elevating it. You could accuse him of wasting his talent, but Cage seems to understand the Bruckheimer aesthetic, and how to act in it. He knows that conviction is better than self-seriousness, and that acting really weird is better than making limp action-hero wisecracks. Cage is less idiosyncratic here than in, say, Con Air, but he does have the hilarious moment in which he ritually psyches himself up to "Low Rider" before embarking upon his steal-athon.

That steal-athon is extended on this DVD. The director's cut runs about 10 minutes longer than the original. As far as I can tell, most of the new footage has been added to the first half of the film, which belabors the already-protracted setup. But some of the extra character notes, while ultimately extraneous in a movie like this, add some temporary charm. It's particularly heartening to see Cage and token old-timer Robert Duvall engage in some playful catch-up: maybe there was a reason to include Duvall, after all.

Despite the friendly movie stars, Gone isn't a B-list classic like Con Air; it doesn't retain that film's winning combination of wit and witlessness. Besides the extra footage, the DVD package is unremarkable; there are the usual behind-the-scenes features heavy on clips from the movie we've just watched -- during one, Bruckheimer actually says that Cage's character is "living on the edge." The most detailed feature is a three-part anatomy of the climactic car chase. The form of this behind-the-scenes glimpse is standard; we see the director and stunt coordinators setting up shots, and discussing some willful implausibilities (police helicopters don't usually hover a few menacing feet above car thieves). But it does make you appreciate the somewhat epic quality of mounting this set piece, and understand why car chases in the rest of the picture are surprisingly scant.

This unabashed focus on the film's final half-hour illustrates the filmmakers' awareness of the movie's strengths: Cage, in a souped-up classic car, going very fast (we see the actor's stunt-driving preparation, which explains why he looks so comfortable behind the wheel). Of course, full honesty would require a featurette on how they made that great trailer, too.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image