Gone in 60 Seconds (Dominic Sena, 2000)

 Blasting to Palm Springs with Eleanor

Rare is the film starring Nicolas Cage in which he doesn’t freak out at some point, but Gone in 60 Seconds is that film. It’s an unapologetically fun heist movie that doesn’t center on any one bank or casino to be robbed, but instead has no less than fifty expensive cars in its visor. Not only is this a large amount to steal unnoticed in any situation, circumstances force them to be arranged in a single night.

This film oozes that 90s Jerry Bruckheimer tradition of saturated monochrome (orange being the dominating hue here) big explosions, larger characters and plenty of action. Where the successful producer differentiates himself f,rom his contemporary spiritual successor, the flailing Michael Bay, is that Bruckheimer actually cares about his characters and knows how to make a film. Gone in 60 Seconds is shallow, but nonetheless thoroughly made and highly entertaining.

Neither do you need to be a car nut to enjoy this. Yes, there’s plenty to love for gearheads here, who will no doubt understand things much better than I did when Cage and his team discuss the intricacies of automobiles. But even if you’re a layman in cars, the heist plot is rich and fun and has the same thrills an Ocean’s Eleven would put on offer.

That’s even before you factor in the inclusion of Cage, who is remarkably toned down in this instance. It wouldn’t have been a bad fit to have a more extreme version here, as we tend to know him, but I guess there is some benefit to having a cool cat not lose his cool. There are already plenty of crazy support characters in his team, each with their own specialty. It’s basically He-Man for grown-ups, except He-Man never boosted a whole car park in a single night.

Roderick Leeuwenhart


  1. I usually consider this film to be one of my best guilty pleasures, but your write-up takes away some of the shame. Despite petrolheads claiming the 1974 original is far better, I have always preferred this one. If only because the ultimate chase scene never fails to send shivers up my spine.

    So does this bit, by the way (from 0:47 on): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj9y_E1w5q8

    1. Never saw the original, but this version has guilty pleasure written all over it. Not to the extent of the ultimate guilty pleasure film though, which is Resident Evil Apocalypse.