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Film / Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

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Gone in 60 Seconds is a 2000 action film starring Nicolas Cage, directed by Dominic Sena, and written by Scott Rosenberg. It was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of The Rock and Armageddon (1998), and is a remake of the 1974 H.B. Halicki film of the same name.

The film was shot in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and throughout Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The film concerns "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage), a former master car thief forced to return to his former trade and steal fifty specified cars for crime boss Raymond Vincent Calitri (Christopher Eccleston), who is threatening to kill Memphis' brother, Kip (Giovanni Ribisi), because Kip had taken a contract but failed to fulfill it (a stolen Porsche Carrera was chased to Kip's warehouse and the collected cars were impounded).

Memphis now has to fulfill the contract and so reassembles his old crew, also joined by Kip's crew.

With Detective Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and his partner, Det. Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant) breathing down their necks, they decide to steal all the cars in one night, to reduce the chances of being caught. Also, in case the police are monitoring their communications, all of the cars they are stealing have female code names. The most famous one in the story is the 1968 Mustang, which is nicknamed "Eleanor."

But, the police already know about the boost and, after cracking an employee at the Mercedes dealership, who had earlier supplied Kip's crew with the special laser cut keys for a Mercedes, set a trap to catch them in action. It thus turns out to be a high action drama of a very long night.

Also featured are Angelina Jolie as "Sway", Robert Duvall as "Otto", and former professional soccer player Vinnie Jones as "Sphinx".

This movie contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In Snatch., Vinnie Jones's character is reluctant to cut a dog open to remove a diamond from its stomach, leading to his accidental death a minute later. In this film, the second Sphinx hears Otto's dog swallowed the Mercedes' keys he pops his knife out and prepares for surgery with a pissed-off look.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original film, Maindrian Pace is portrayed as an unrepentant thief (although one with some standards) who is in the scheme to steal cars purely for the money. "Memphis" Raines, however, quit being a thief to not drag his brother down into Hell with him and gets back on the saddle when Calitri makes clear that it's the fifty cars or Kip (and maybe everybody else Memphis loves) dies.
  • Adaptational Karma: The people who hired Maindrain Pace to steal fifty cars end the film completely untouched by the law (and aside from the scene in which they hire Pace, not appear any further in the film). Raymond Calitri, however, ends this film very much dead and it's heavily implied that the people who hired him to get the cars will have the LAPD on their tails in very short order.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The protagonist name, from Maindrian Pace (original film) to Randall "Memphis" Raines (remake).
  • The Alleged Car: Zig-zagged with Eleanor. She is as much of a Cool Car as a Shelby Mustang is expected to be and helps Memphis outrun the LAPD, but it's also made clear that she is "cursed" and every time Memphis has tried to steal her previously she's malfunctioned in a crucial moment and gotten him arrested or even nearly killed. Sure enough, at one point she seems to react to a damaged rearview mirror by having her engine choke, drawing the attention of a nearby police car.
    • Just to clarify, the name is just as alleged. Memphis assigns Eleanor to any 1967 Shelby Mustang GT-500, and that he's previously attempted to steal them before. When the introduction of Eleanor scene takes place, it's mentioned that Memphis flipped one and drove one off a pier.
  • And Starring: "And Robert Duvall", complete with an attention-getting Orbital Shot just to make sure the audience is paying attention.
  • Anything but That!: When Calitri is trying to kill Memphis, Memphis is able to hold him at bay by using a wooden chair that Calitri had earlier been building as if it were a Human Shield.
  • Artistic License: Police don't generally engage in high speed chases in a city, better to just tail from a distance and have air support follow.
  • Asian Drivers: Donny's driving student, who is an Asian woman, is hopeless at any and all aspects of driving.
  • Auto Erotica: Memphis and Sway make out to pass the time while stuck in a car. Lots of Double Entendre lobbing occurs as they are doing so in a stick shift.
  • Autopsy Snack Time: Sphinx is working as a coroner and puts his sandwich down on a cadaver's chest to answer the phone.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The Big Bad having his Hostage MacGuffin Kip guarded/watched over by just one henchman, who is a family friend of the Raines family
  • The Cake Is a Lie: When Memphis delivers the last car, Calitri pretends to agree to his terms for closing the deal… then decks him with a knuckle duster and says he planned to kill Memphis from the moment he insulted Calitri and put a gun to his head.
  • Caper Rationalization: Sure, the protagonists are a bunch of car thieves, but somebody's gotta save Memphis' brother. Once the day is saved, he gives Det. Castlebeck the location of the cargo ship where the stolen cars were held so they can be returned to their rightful owners.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Mempis' photo of a Mercedes he took while scoping the cars. On the night of the theft, he notices that a van in the background is now closer. note  Deducing that the Mercedes is under police surveillance, he walks away from stealing it and gives Donny a coded message, saving him from being arrested as he was also about to steal a Mercedes that had a police stakeout.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Calitri is shown during his introduction to be a skilled carpenter who spends his time building furniture, leading to Anything but That!.
  • Cool Car: Eleanor. She is a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT-500, packing enough horsepower to outrun the entire LAPD.
  • Down L.A. Drain: The film has an L.A. river chase scene.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Raymond Calitri quickly establishes himself as one of these the moment he enters the picture and his threat dangles over Raines' head for most of the film.
    • Discussed (although thankfully it doesn't leads to much) when Kip's crew steals a car that wasn't on the list because it was just parked in front of a restaurant with the keys on the ignition. As Memphis points out seconds before they discover the heroin in the car's trunk, maybe the man who left the car like that did it because he knew nobody in the neighborhood was stupid enough to steal it and make him angry.
  • Enemy Mine: Memphis and Detective Castlebeck in the climax.
  • Establishing Character Moment: After Calitri turns on the car crusher that Kip is being held in, Memphis grabs his gun and threatens him with it, screaming at him to turn the crusher off. Calitri, completely unfazed, delivers this gem:
    You've got 30 seconds to consider your options. One: You kill me, they kill you, your brother dies anyway. Two: you lie, you accept the job, you run. I hunt you down, I kill you, your brother, and your mother, for the aggravation you've caused me. Three: You accept the job, you steal some cars, you make some money....and you be a big brother.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Donny Astricky does not appreciate a thug pulling a gun on him to try and steal his car (which Donny just stole himself), because he considers it lazy thievery.
  • Evil Brit: Raymond Vincent Calitri, played by Christopher Eccleston. Unusually (for an American work, anyways), he speaks with a Northern accent rather than a posh London one.
  • Fake American: invoked Played With. Memphis thought Sphinx was from Long Beach until Sphinx gets in one line with Vinnie Jones's natural English accent.
  • Hero Antagonist: Castlebeck and Drycoff are members of the LAPD's Robbery Division who want the Raines brothers (and Raymond Calitri) behind bars. For his part, Memphis is only stealing the cars to prevent Calitri from killing his brother
  • I Call It "Vera": All of the stolen cars get women's names as codenames, and the most plot-important one is "Eleanor", which is made clear Memphis gives to all Shelby Cobras he (tries to) steal.
  • Informed Ability: The movie does a good job of making all the car thieves look cool and masterful in action, but at the point Memphis is preparing to steal the first of the Mercedes, we have only Detective Castlebeck's word that Memphis is somehow doing everything right in terms of counter-detection. To the audience, Nicolas Cage just got out of the car that brought him there and walks purposefully towards his target.
    Detective Castlebeck: ... he's smart. He watches his ass.
    • Of course, moments later, he does correctly identify Castlebeck's van as a police surveillance van...
  • Invisible Writing: Kip and his crew use this to hide a list of target cars, from Detective Castlebeck. The writing is only visible under "black light". Unfortunately, Castlebeck eventually realizes this and uses a black light to read the list and learn what cars they're targeting.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: In-universe, Memphis claims this to be the reason why he doesn't want a particular Ferrari while visiting a dealership. In reality, he is just convincing the salesman to help him find a particular, much rarer, and much more valuable car that he intends to steal.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Within the LAPD. Detectives Castlebeck and Drycoff, who are investigating Calitri for auto theft, have their files on him confiscated by Homicide and are told to stay away from him.
    Homicide detective: Raymond Calitri is going down for murder one. Boneheads.
  • Justified Criminal: Memphis. He used to steal for money, but he quit and the film's Mandatory Unretirement is forced upon him by trying to protect his brother.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Subverted, when Freb asks Donny if he ever feels bad about being a thief.
    Donny: Hell, no. I'm Robin Hood, man. I rob from the rich and give to the needy.
    Freb: You mean the poor.
    Donny: No, like I said, the needy. 'Cause brother, we need this car.
  • Karmic Death: Calitri had gone to the trouble of making a special coffin for Kip if he doesn't get his 50 cars on time. Guess how the coffin ends up getting used.
  • Leonine Contract: Memphis must steal 50 high-end cars, while being watched by the cops, or Calitri will kill his brother Kip.
  • Let Off by the Detective: Det. Castlebeck has Memphis dead to rights at the end, but lets him skate because he sympathizes with the motive ("A brother's love is... a brother's love."), Calitri was the real mastermind of the heist and a much bigger collar, and Memphis had just saved his life by kicking said mastermind off a catwalk before he could shoot Castlebeck.
  • Lethal Chef: Kip has no part in any kind of complete breakfast.
  • Moment Killer: Memphis and Sway are about to get intimate, but Sway breaks the moment by pointing out that they have an opportunity to steal the car they're after.
  • Mugging the Monster: A random car thief tries to jack Donny's already-stolen car at gunpoint. Donny punches him out, gives him a few kicks for good measure, then lectures him on being a lazy thief.
  • Mundane Solution: When one of Kip's crew tries to figure out how to unlock a control panel for the Ferrari warehouse, Sphinx simply pulls out his folding knife and pries it open.
  • My Car Hates Me: Be nice to Eleanor, and she will be nice to you. Or not. She's kind of a bitch that way.
  • Mythology Gag: Freb steals a car that's not on the list, just to prove he can. Said car is a Cadillac Eldorado that happens to have heroin in the back, just like in the original 1974 film.
  • Mythical Motifs: Eleanor doesn't only get called a pretty girl's name (the name is pretty, not the girl), she also gets called "the unicorn" by Memphis.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The final showdown takes place in an industry-standard steam and flame factory.
  • Obsolete Mentor: Robert Duvall's character.
  • One Last Job: Memphis has actually retired as a thief, and comes out of retirement to save his little brother's bacon.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Memphis and Kip have coffee in the diner as Johnny B is arrested.
  • Product Delivery Ordeal: Raines, a former master car thief, is forced to return to his former trade and steal fifty high-end cars for a British gangster who threatens to kill Memphis's brother. Here, "Eleanor" is a 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 which Memphis "saves for last." As in the original, when Memphis goes to steal the '67 Shelby, police were already lying in wait, leading to a Car Chase. After Memphis shakes off the police, he arrives at the gangster's junkyard twelve minutes late, and he refuses to accept the slightly damaged Shelby.
  • Oop North: Christopher Eccleston insisted on using his native Manchester accent in the film, as he figured that American audiences were used to English characters being either posh or Cockney and wouldn't have heard a northern accent before.
  • The Quiet One: The Sphinx, whom everybody thinks is mute until he breaks into a philosophical speech at the end.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Knowing that the cops have their shopping list, and that some of the rarer cars are under surveillance, Memphis and Co. decide the simplest option is to break into the police impound lot.
  • Reporting Names: Each of the fifty cars is assigned a girl's name, so the crew can track what they've stolen.
  • Road Apples: A dog eats a set of keys needed by the heroes. You know what comes next.
  • Running Gag: Eleanor stalls out and refuses to start pretty much whenever it is inconvenient to Memphis.
  • Slo-Mo Big Air: A car reaches low Earth orbit during the final chase scene. Unlike most examples, this is portrayed as a bad thing for the car.
  • Stupid Crooks: Kip at the beginning of the movie, when he steals the Porsche 911 Carrera, by smashing the dealership's window with a brick, and then driving like crazy, even goading a Honda Civic into a street race. And after attracting police attraction, by driving past a police unit at an excessive speed - assuming that he clearly saw the unit - still proceeds to bring the car to his team's hideout. Also, throughout the movie, his inexperienced and youthfully arrogant crew keep acting stupid and belligerent many times.
    • Stealing a car that wasn't even on the target list before the main heist is due to begin. Not only does it increase the likelihood of police attention but Freb didn't think to question why it was unlocked in the first place (it belonged to a known drug dealer who no sane person would cross).
    • While Detective Castlebeck is prowling around the hideout Toby picks up a piece of pipe and makes ready to assault a police officer before Memphis silently warns him off. This latest stupidity finally prompts Memphis to strip the younger crooks of their decision-making privileges for a whole day.
  • Threat Backfire: At the climax, Calitri gets ready to shoot Detective Castlebeck and Castlebeck tries to talk him out of it by telling him that becoming a Cop Killer would make things a lot harder for him. Calitri makes clear how few shits he gives by telling Castlebeck that getting a policeman's funeral, 21-Gun Salute and all, will be "the best day of [Castlebeck's] life" as the camera zooms in on his tightening trigger finger. It is then than Memphis blind-sides Calitri and tosses him off the catwalk.
  • Time Title: A renowned car thief gets pulled out of retirement to rescue his kid brother from the clutches of a deranged crime lord. The protagonist and his cohorts are skilled professionals, able to "boost" any car in 60 seconds or less. Kiss your ride goodbye.
  • Vanity License Plate: The Hummer's is "SNAKE". Guess what they find inside?
    • Something of a Mythology Gag, referencing a tiger found in one of the Cadillacs, foreshadowed by a tiger's paw tattoo on a woman who looks just like (but isn't) Suzanne Summers.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Kip does this to Johnny B's second car to get him arrested. While Johnny and his crew watch Memphis in the diner, Kip sneaks out the back door to tie the front axle to a tow truck and the rear axle to a stationary post. When the truck driver goes to leave, the front axle is torn off and gets the attention of the police officers at the diner.
  • Villain Protagonist: Memphis and his team are pretty unrepentant thieves (although Memphis quit because his mother asked him to), although at least Memphis has the reason he wishes to protect Kip.
  • The Voiceless: The Sphinx spends most of the film without saying a word (when Memphis calls him to ask for help, he asks Sphinx to punch a button to see if he's still there). When Sphinx makes a soliloquy at the film's denouement, the caper crew is pretty surprised (although they then joke that they didn't expect a British accent).
  • Unflinching Walk: Averted, Sphinx does indeed react to Johnny B's car, which he set on fire, exploding as he walks toward the fight.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Don't make Eleanor angry. You won't like her when she's angry.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Sphinx does this to get Mirror Man, one of Kip's crew, with a folding knife to shut him up as he was upset that Sphinx simply pried open a control panel.