It’s 2 a.m. and you awake with a jerk, alone in your fully lit apartment and still on the couch. On TV, the credits of some movie you’ve already seen a billion times are scrolling by. It feels like rock bottom. And we know, because we’re just like you: single.
Need a movie to keep you company until you literally can’t keep your eyes open? Join us tonight when we pass out to Gone in 60 Seconds [starting @ 10:40 p.m. on Starz]
Why we’ll try to stay up and watch it: With X-Men Origins: Wolverine opening next weekend, it feels like as good a time as any to point out that summer movies need to lighten up. Between budgets that rival government bailouts and plots that hedge to the dark side of moody, it seems like everyone involved with the production of these zeppelin-like spectacles has forgotten what it’s like to have … well, lots of fun.
With that in mind, say hello to Gone in 60 Seconds. The 2000 remake of the 1974 film of the same name is classic summer entertainment. Released at the height of the “Jerry Bruckheimer Rules the Earth” era of moviemaking—Gone in 60 Seconds followed the trifecta of The Rock, Con Air and Armageddon—the film reminds us what it was like when blockbusters were nothing more than loud, stupid movies about human beings doing awesome things. Hence, the story is as easy as using Geico: A man (Nicolas Cage) has to save his brother from a mobster by stealing 50 cars in a single night. Add in some one-liners, a dreadlocked Angelina Jolie, War’s “Low Rider” and fade to black.
While we have major problems with Mr. Cage whenever he plays serious—this includes his overrated Oscar-winning performance in Leaving Las Vegas—we could not love his goofy action hero work more. Gone in 60 Seconds is no exception. He’s the Olivier of this particular genre, which makes us all the sadder when we see him frowning in stuff like Knowing. If you’re going to put Mr. Cage in something that goes boom, at least let him have a good time.
When we’ll probably fall asleep: Since this is a movie about stealing cars, you can safely expect to see one thing: high-speed chases. Our favorite happens to be the last one, before the rote “cop-shoots-the-bad-guy-to-save-the-antihero” finale. This chase involves a traffic jam on a bridge; a flatbed truck that’s set up to look like a ramp; a gorgeous (and flying) 1967 Shelby GT500 named Eleanor; and some absurd blue screen special effects. That it ends up being more ridiculous than all that sounds should be no surprise. So we’ll make it until 12:25, 105 minutes into the film, when Mr. Cage embraces his inner Evil Knievel all while doing everything in his power not to wink at the camera. We’d like to see Wolverine try something like that.