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RUNNING TIME 96 minutes
– Cast and Crew Interview
– Behind the Scenes Look
Another Nic Cage dissapointment.
Nicolas Cage, Josh Lucas, Danny Huston, Malin Akerman, Sami Gayle
An ex-thief (Nicolas Cage) must perform one last heist when his daughter (Sami Gayle) is taken…er…stolen by his former partner (Josh Lucas)
I enjoy when Nic Cage goes a little Wicker-Man-Wild. Stuff like the National Treasure series is fine for the whole family, but I prefer Cage losing his mind a-la Drive Angry. That’s the sort of film I was hoping Stolen would be. An obvious Taken rip-off, this one had to be absolutely bonkers in order to escape its generic plot and bland casting. Unfortunately, Stolen is a by-the-numbers affair, failing to evoke any emotions from Cage aside from boredom.
Things seem off right from the start when Cage, supposedly the “worlds greatest thief”, forgets the money and gets caught running back for it. Yes, the man that we’re supposed to believe is a professional thief FORGETS THE MONEY when his friend tries to kill a homeless man that witnessed the crime. The whole scenario feels like a cheap way to lock Cage up and give his partner, Josh Lucas, a reason to seek revenge years later.
That’s the problem with the entire plot of the film. Characters do things simply because the story must move along, rather than because it feels organic to the film. This is a movie that was written simply to bank off the success of the Taken franchise, not because anyone had a particularly interesting story to tell. I know Simon West can make this sort of film interesting, as evidenced by The Expendables 2 and even The Mechanic, but none of his talents are put to use here.
There are two heist sequences within the film, both of which are supposed to showcase our group of thieves’ talents. This never pans out, as both heists are over before they start and are just as generic as the rest of the film. We’re expected to believe that Cage is a new man when he returns from prison, but as soon as the script calls for another heist he conveniently has one ready to go. We’re never allowed to invest in any of these characters because we don’t spend enough time with them and when we finally do their personalities are changed at the scripts will. I accept this from films like Drive Angry, where it’s obvious that everyone involved is in on the joke, but here nobody’s laughing with us.
As I said before, Cage seems bored, which is a death knell for any movie. He’s at his best when he gives a film his all regardless of the quality of the material, and this could have turned into something great if he had bothered to try. The only one who seems to be having any fun with the material is Josh Lucas, giving us the sole reason to even consider checking this flick out. Lucas chews the scenery like nobody’s business, getting the most out of his character regardless of what those around him are doing. His performance wouldn’t be out of place if this were the B-movie we all wanted, but instead it ends up feeling like he was working on an entirely different film.
The action scenes scattered throughout are competent enough, but none of them have any real bite until the finale. Unfortunately, even this is ruined when the film treats his villain as if he were Jason in a Friday the 13th film. I’m fairly certain he survives at least three scenarios that should have killed him, or at least rendered him unable to move. Once again, this would have fit if the film had embraced its B-movie status, but ends up coming off silly when the rest of the film’s action sequences are played so straight.
It’s a shame that Stolen ends up being a blatant genre rip-off, as the pieces are in place for a fun film. Cage should be right at home here, and Lucas seems eager to let loose. The film never allows him to, and ends up feeling like a hodgepodge of ideas and styles rather than a coherent 90 minutes. Rent it if you’re curious about Lucas, but otherwise stay far away from this one.
The film’s transfer looks fine, but you’re certainly not going to use it to show off your new set-up. Everything sounds decent as well, though the soundtrack for this one is so thrown together and poorly composed that I doubt you’ll want to hear it at all.
Special features are what you’d expect for a film like this, and all the behind the scenes work boils down to the cast and crew saying how great is was to work with Cage and West. Right.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars