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.



Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

Great Peacock Stares Down Mortality With "High Wind" (premiere + interview)

Southern rock's Great Peacock offer up a tune that vocalist Andrew Nelson says encompasses their upcoming LP's themes. "You are going to die one day. You can't stop the negative things life throws at you from happening. But, you can make the most of it."

Music

The 80 Best Albums of 2015

Travel back five years ago when the release calendar was rife with stellar albums. 2015 offered such an embarrassment of musical riches, that we selected 80 albums as best of the year.

Film

Buridan's Ass and the Problem of Free Will in John Sturges' 'The Great Escape'

Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Music

King Buzzo Continues His Reign with 'Gift of Sacrifice'

King Buzzo's collaboration with Mr. Bungle/Fantômas bassist Trevor Dunn expands the sound of Buzz Osborne's solo oeuvre on Gift of Sacrifice.

Music

Jim O'Rourke's Experimental 'Shutting Down Here' Is Big on Technique

Jim O'Rourke's Shutting Down Here is a fine piece of experimental music with a sure hand leading the way. But it's not pushing this music forward with the same propensity as Luc Ferrari or Derek Bailey.

Music

Laraaji Returns to His First Instrument for 'Sun Piano'

The ability to help the listener achieve a certain elevation is something Laraaji can do, at least to some degree, no matter the instrument.

Music

Kristin Hersh Discusses Her Gutsy New Throwing Muses Album

Kristin Hersh thinks influences are a crutch, and chops are a barrier between artists and their truest expressions. We talk about life, music, the pandemic, dissociation, and the energy that courses not from her but through her when she's at her best.

Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pays Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.