Gone in Sixty Seconds - rated - TEPID

..and vacant for one hundred and seventeen minutes

Look, I like a good car chase as much as anyone, and more than many. But this was just stupid.

It is the sort of movie that you go to not hoping for too much more than special effects, but end up feeling annoyed at wasting so much time. Not that it was a terrible movie - it had a certain style about it and the car chases weren't bad - it's just that it could have been so much better. There was a point when my husband Lindsay leaned over and whispered to me ("This is the moment when, if this were on TV, you'd give up and change the channel." He was right.

Speaking of being so much better - what on earth were Robert Duvall and Christopher Eccleston doing in this film? I know why Nicolas Cage was there: he was doing his dumb ironic distancing schtick (as in Con Air), and he probably got lots of money for starring. But what's Duvall's excus? (Then again he was also in Days of Thunder, so maybe he actually likes this rubbish). As for that fine serious actor Christopher Eccleston - I'd recommend that he tell his agent to be gone in sixty seconds.

I did quite like two things (no make that three) about Gone in Sixty Seconds. One was the fact that the car chases had to be careful ones, because it was important to keep the cars undamaged. The director (Dominic Sena - who made Kalifornia, 1993) didn't make quite enough of this in the film. It could have been a lot funnier and more exciting if he had. The second thing I liked was the car chase in reverse. That was fun. The third thing I liked was Angelina Jolie. She seemed to have the right sense of fun (and glamour).

But the director was soo busy making a movie for 13-year-old boys, that he overlooked a fun story and the opportunity to retell the story of a a cult film in a new and compelling way. Imagine if Martin Scorsese had got his teeth into the mechanics of a professional car stealing racket. He would have shown us so much detail our heads would be spinning even before the car chases began.

The worst thing about this film was the lame sibling rivalry subplot. I really thought I'd throw up when a stranger had to intervene to give the speech about how selfless Nic Cage had been in leaving town, and how much his brother (played by the inexplicable Giovanni Ribesi - why does he keep getting cast?) owes him. I've heard that speech so many times before, often on bad daytime TV.

The original film that this film remakes is Gone in 60 Seconds (HB (Toby) Halicki, 1974). Halicki himself does not get a writing credit for the film, but his widow was an executive producer (Toby Halicki was a stunt driver who died in a stunt he was doing for the Gone in 60 Seconds sequel - Gone in 60 Seconds 2: The Junkman (1982)).. The original film apparently didn't pretend to be much more than a 40 minute car chase with a prologue and some porn-quality acting. This remake pretends to be a bit more than that, but it isn't anything of the sort.