Gone in 60 Seconds

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By Mark Ramsey | 2000/06/11

So Universal is suing Mike Myers for refusing to make a bad movie. Says a Universal Spokesperson, “We never have this problem with Rob Schneider!”

Gone in 60 Seconds speeds downhill faster than a Porsche 911 Twin Turbo. It features scads of dope cars and scads of dopes driving them. If you own a t-shirt with an iron-on transfer immortalizing any winner of the Daytona 500, you’ll love this movie. In general, the less you need an iron, the more you’ll like this movie.

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Nic Cage is a guy named “Memphis Raines” – only because “Memphis Belle” was already taken. Somebody had better dose-up the octane in Nic’s Paxil. If he underplayed this role any more, You’d see an IV hanging off the rear view mirror, next to the dice.

Like all films from action producer Jerry Bruckheimer, there are certain special touches of machismo here. Like, for example, the guy who explains how he sits on his hand until there’s no feeling, then “rubs one out.” Dude, if you want a lover without a pulse, Nic’s your man. Now keep your hands off my steering wheel, will ya?

Memphis and his posse must boost 50 cars in one night or his brother, Giovanni Ribisi, is toast. Unfortunately, toasted Ribisi requires a savory ragout and only one of the hot rods is outfitted with the proper condiments.

The arch-criminal is “The Carpenter,” a Euro-baddie who’s destined to be stained and finished before the two-hour point. “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down,” explains the mahogany-hearted woodworker, who is both loathed and lathed by Nic and his crew.

Let us not forget the indescribably delicious Angie Jolie. When Angie wags her brow at the camera, the silver screen starts peeling off the wall to let the steam vent. This gal has a way of detailing the gearshift that will have your ride skipping the wash and heading straight to the cold shower. That’s what I call “auto-erotica”!

I had the chance to meet Angie a while ago and posed for a picture. Take it from me, when this babe puts her hand on your back you stand erect – and get your mind out of the gutter, mine’s already there and yours is crowding me. She was, by the way, gone in a lot less than 60 seconds.

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Even Angie is underused in this flick. Mostly, she blows kisses and stares longingly at rad wheels, all of which are named after characters from MTV’s The Real World: The accident-prone Chevy Bel Air Convertible in desperate need of an alignment is “Ruthie,” the wide-body HumVee Pickup is “Amaya,” and so on.

This flick’s so disappointing, the Foley artists tried to dub the sound of tap dancing over the dialogue. Even the Best Boy wigged, explaining “My work is done; this is a job for Mediocre Boy.”

Robert Duvall is in his campy, carbon monoxide fume-sniffing prime as the old-salt chop shop mentor who taught Memphis everything he knows. Everything except right from wrong and the importance of daily grooming.

The illustrious actor Delroy Lindo signed on for this movie because, in his words, “what the hell else was I doing?”

Memo to car thieves: When you’re trying to lift fifty cars don’t write an incriminating, detailed list of the cars on a chalkboard in your garage. Keep your mission statement in the Daytimer and off the wall, for God’s sake!

Maybe it was just me, but most of the stunt driving in this movie seems more indebted to the editing room than the open road. No shot lasts long enough to see what’s real and what’s not. Nic could be driving to the supermarket to get charcoal for the wrap party cookout for all I know. Maybe he’s toting cartons of Pall Malls back to Patricia Arquette.

You’d think these guys would learn not to race around construction sites because that’s the ONLY place where all the heavy equipment will be in your way! I was waiting for Nic to crash into a fruit cart and send oranges all over the road like in the Bond movies. What car chase is complete without a head-on with a fruit cart?

My favorite part is where Nic jumps a bridge in his 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500. It’s an absurd maneuver made more absurd when a choir of angels surrounds the car in mid-jump and escorts it safely back to Earth, where Nic rolls down the window and Patricia Arquette screams “Where the Hell are my Pall Malls?!”

If “the journey is the reward,” then this road trip ain’t no vacation. Just a lot of hot-air exhaust.

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