Gone In 60 Seconds review

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""What's better? Boosting a car or having sex?" For most of us, horizontal jogging would win hands down. But when Angelina Jolie asks Nicolas Cage the same question here, you just know that director Dominic Sena is crouching sweatily behind the camera muttering: ""Stealing cars, stealing cars! Oh baby, it's just gotta be stealing cars!""

Gone In 60 Seconds is pure softcore autoerotica all the way. As MOR rock blares, crooks admire the long, sleek lines of cars (all given women's names), run their hands lovingly over shiny roofs, bumpers and huge round headlights before slipping into smooth leather seats, slamming pedals down and setting huge engines a-throbbin'. Sena must've needed a cold shower after every scene...

But what if you don't get your rocks off watching gleaming metal? What's going to get your adrenalin pumping? Well, it's certainly not going to be car chases. Aside from speed-demonry in a Porsche at the start and a big final chase, these babies never shift out of second.

There's damn-all action off the road either. For every gunfight and punch-up (there are two of each - - we counted), there're days of checking out where the cars are, an age of verbal sparring with cops (headed by Delroy Lindo's motor-head plod out to nail Raines) and aeons of standing in front of blackboards ticking names off a list.

You see, despite its ""Produced By Jerry Bruckheimer" tag", this really isn't an action movie. It's a talky, people-heavy exercise in cool. All anyone cares about is sounding and looking good. No one's going to mess up their leather jackets and snazzy shades by doing anything so untidy as action stuff. No, they'd much rather lounge around and drawl through Scott Rosenberg's self-consciously hip dialogue (though The Usual Suspects scripter blots his copy-book with the line ""A brother's love is a brother's love..."" Urrrgggh!).

Crap lines like that aside, this isn't a bad movie to spend some time with. You've got three Oscar-winning actors flexing their charisma-muscles (Cage, Jolie and Robert Duvall - - as Cage's wizened old car thief mentor), a good collection of background characters and two British actors trying to step up into the big leagues. One, Christopher Eccleston as the bad guy, just about holds his own; the other, Vinnie Jones, holds his own and a good bit of everyone else's too. Proving that Lock, Stock was no fluke, the boy Vinnie forgets about boosting cars and settles down to stealing scenes. Watching him, you could almost forget that nothing else is happening.

Cruising along in second, this won't burn itself into your consciousness forever. Still, even if it's not the expected action extravaganza, the cast's laid-back charisma make it slightly more than just a furtive pleasure for spotty-faced motor mechanics.

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