60 Questions about "60 Seconds"...
Yes, I know. Its sad that I would devote so much thought to a thoroughly forgettable film.
Jerry Bruckheimer makes a certain kind of film. He makes films that are widely seen because they are the equivalent of an 'easy read'. People go to his films because they want to see a bunch of people break into Alcatraz or because they want to see a bunch of convicts save a plane or destroy an asteroid before it hits Earth. They are loud, slickly produced films full of explosions and action. They ARE the Summer Film. Most of these films are enjoyable in a rudimentary sort of way. It is the truly memorable films of summer that go beyond these formulas. Unfortunately, "Gone In 60 Seconds" doesn't even live up to the Bruckheimer standards.
I have some questions about the film, well, 60 questions, and some thoughts about each of the questions.
1. Why was the movie made?
When a production company becomes as big, as well-known, and as important to the studio footing the bill, as Bruckheimer's company is to Disney, they have to produce films on a regular basis just to keep the cash coming in. I am sure that everyone involved anticipated that this film would be a huge hit, causing buckets of cash to fall from the sky.
2. Why did Academy Award winner Nicholas Cage make this movie?
3. Why did Academy Award winner Anjelina Jolie make this movie?
4. Why did Academy Award winner Robert Duval make this movie?
It's the cash, stupid. Cage makes about $20 million per picture. Jolie and Duval probably made a mint as well. They’ve got mortgages just like everyone else.
5. Why is Cage's character called 'Memphis' when he is from Long Beach, CA?
6. Why is Jolie's character called 'Sway'?
7. Why is Vinnie Jone's character called 'Sphinx'?
Only the screenwriter, Scott Rosenberg, can answer these questions. The answers certainly aren't in the story. In Rosenberg's last film, 'Con Air', many of the characters had nicknames, but we learned why they had those nicknames. At least Duval's nickname is 'Otto'. That makes sense.
8. After his brother, played by Giovanni Ribisi, fumbles a car theft, causing Cage to come out of retirement to save him, why does Cage agree to let Ribisi and his friends join the crew?
Their great track record?
9. Why is their Cajun music playing over the credits?
The main characters are from Long Beach. It makes perfect sense. Of course. Cajun music.
10. Why is so much of the daylight action shot with brown filters?
It makes the entire film look muddy. Great idea, guys.
11. Why is Christopher Eccleston's villain British?
Yes, I know the actor is British, but there is no reason for the character to be. Watch the very good, but very depressing 'Jude' or the simply great 'Shallow Grave' to see how good this actor can be. And then, wonder aloud why he decided to appear in this film.
12. Why is it so easy for Cage and his crew to steal cars?
Most of these scenes are interesting, but not suspenseful. Because they only have difficulty grabbing a small number of the 50 cars, everything appears easy. The suspense is gone.
13. Because of #12, the climatic car chase is predictable. Why?
Because everything else is so easy, naturally something will go wrong with the last car. There is no suspense anywhere. In the entire film.
14. Why is the actual climax so boring?
Because it has been done hundreds of times before.
15. Why is the only sex scene between Cage and Jolie less erotic than the two lovers that they are watching at the time?
It's the chemistry, stupid. There isn't any.
16. Why is Delroy Lindo's character driving a Cadillac and then a BMW while undercover?
Not exactly standard police issue.
17. Why are we introduced to Frances Fisher's character at all?
She has literally one line. She also pops up in the background twice.
18. Grace Zabriskie played Cage's mother?
Yes. At least her one scene had some point in the story.
Okay, so I'm not actually going to ask 60 questions about the movie. The movie attempted to live up to about a third of its promise, so I think it is acceptable for me to live up to a third of mine. It promised a lot of car chases, it has two. It promised interesting characters, it has none.
If I really went to the trouble of listing 60 questions, and you read them, we are each devoting far too much time to a film that will live up to its title in more ways than one.