Back to Cast and Crew Info for Gone in 60 Seconds 2000
length: 117 minutes
The new Gone in 60 Seconds is a fairly entertaining action film that is burdened by its over-reliance on simple plot exposition and radical MTV-style Chase editing.
Instead of treating the viewer to a flashback detailing why Memphis had to leave town, it is simply explained in a short and very-poorly written confrontation between Atlee Jackson (Will Patton) and Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi). The audience knows Memphis is a legendary car thief because everyone says he is. He is not shown in action until almost the end. Kip says he resents Memphis' abandonment, but does not act on it or demonstrate his anger in any convincing fashion. This tact can work only if the dialogue and acting are excellent. Neither is the case here.
To be sure, Gone comes to life, however fitfully,
at the end with The Chase. At 13 minutes (max) in length, and with
no more than 20 cars destroyed, the 1974 original's benchmark
40 minutes and 93 cars is quite safe. The 160 mph riverbed scene
is very exciting and the backwards driving and shipyard free-for-all
are entertaining. For example,
Timothy Olyphant has one of the funnier scenes where he asks
the officer in the smashed Jeep if he was
OK, because he had just driven through a wall.
The biggest disappointment is The Jump. Everything is OK up until the point Eleanor hits the trailer ramp. The airborne sequence lasts too long and is obviously animated. Computer animation works for dinosaurs and toys. It does not work for car chase jumps. At one point Eleanor is unrealistically floating in the air. Then the film suddenly cuts to a split-second rear-view of the beginning of her landing and then her impact on the bridge. It is as if she just drops on the bridge and wobbles away.
Eleanor is the source of a great deal of ambivalence. There is no denying she is fast and good looking. These attributes do enhance the excitement of the chase and its various stunts.
However, the main plot conceit of the 1974 Gone is this: The master car thief could get any Rolls, exotic, racing car, whatever, he wants. But that 1973 Mustang, which is everywhere, just can't be had. If the original premise is to be carried over intact, the new Eleanor would be a vehicle just as available and ordinary. Say, a new Mustang or Camaro, Acura, Eclipse, Saturn SC2, whatever. NOT a super-rare 1967 Shelby GT 500.
Shelby-modified Fords all have three things in common: They a) were underappreciated when first on the market, b) were raced and otherwise abused by their original owners and c) are now incredibly rare and valuable collectors' items. 1967 is the first year for the GT 500, which lasted through 1969. Eleanor was produced in very small numbers. She would be very heavily alarmed and stored under constant lock and key. She would be taken out, if ever, for the stray show and shine or Friday night cruise. Not just parked in a relatively open downtown garage. And she would not be modified or customized as she was in this movie. Collectible cars lose much of their value if they are not original. It would make vastly more sense for the enthusiast to modify a 1967 or 1968 Mustang.
The less said about the bad guy, the kid brother and the rival gang leader, the better. Christopher Eccleston makes no sense whatsoever as the villainous Raymond Calitri. He doesn't act so much as he either whines or screams. Giovanni Ribisi practically sleepwalks through his lines, talking mostly in a dull monotone. His circa-1994 grunge-slacker is so bratty, inept and otherwise unsympathetic that it is unclear why anyone would want to save this idiot from the mess he got himself into. Additionally, Memphis has to deal, for no apparent reason, with a rival car theft gang leader who answers to the street moniker of Johnny B, played by gangster rapper Master P. The fresh-faced, Smurf-like P brings to the role all the menacing street-credibility of Donny Osmond. This rivalry, while responsible for some entertaining explosions and like-minded socially-irresponsible gags and stunts, does not in any way advance the plot of the movie.
And, finally, the Gay and Lesbian community can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Jerry Bruckheimer no longer considers flaming, over-the-top, not-quite-as-butch-as-Liberace queens to be funny. He now thinks that barely coherent Asian women who cannot drive are hilarious. Ecch.
Philip D'Antoni, John Frankenheimer, William Friedkin and John Woo have nothing to worry about with the new Gone in 60 Seconds and the original cult classic does not suffer in comparison. But, ultimately, the plot is decent, the acting generally OK, and the concluding chase is better than average. In short, Gone cuts the mustard as summer action entertainment.
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