Con Airless

There are certain things you can depend upon in a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced summer movie. It will be slick, loud and fast moving ("Con Air," "Armageddon"). It will be lit like a TV ad. It will feature very good actors in roles for which they are overqualified. It will be a testosterone-fueled celebration of outlaw male bonding. And whatever it's about can be articulated in one punchy sentence. Take "Gone in 60 Seconds." A reformed car thief (Nicolas Cage) has to round up a crew and steal 50 cars in one night or his brother (Giovanni Ribisi) will be killed. Any further description is really unnecessary.

"Gone in 60 Seconds" is a pumped-up remake of a 1974 quickie of the same name. The original was made by actor/writer/director H. B. Halicki, who died that year in a car stunt while making a sequel. That one's claim to fame was a climactic 40-minute car chase that aficionados of the genre put right up there with the chase in "Bullitt."

What's this one's claim to fame? Not Angelina Jolie, whose disposable role as a car mechanic/bartender/love interest gives her little to do but handle a gearshift lustily. Director Dominic Sena ("Kalifornia") whips up a respectable amount of mayhem, but we're in Evel Knievel fantasyland. Our team of good-guy bad guys (including Robert Duvall, Chi McBride and Vinnie Jones) is divided into the wise, wizened old timers and the callow computer-hip youngsters. They are a passable neo-dirty dozen, but not even as memorable as the rogues' gallery in "Armageddon." What's missing from "Gone in 60 Seconds" is anything new. There's a "been there, done that" feeling to the enterprise. The truth is, the brother Cage has to save barely seems worth saving, and the movie's fetishistic worship of Mercedeses, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and one old Mustang named Eleanor is an obsession all too easy to resist.

Gone in 60 SecondsTouchstone
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