' ' Cinema Romantico: Stolen

Friday, December 28, 2012


One would be excused for assuming Nicolas Cage's "Stolen" (and Nicolas Cage's did-it-all-for-the-money movies really should include his name before the title in the manner of John Carpenter) would feature yet another crazy-eyes Cage performance. However, in Nicolas Cage's "Stolen", Nicolas Cage shockingly takes the role of the straight man. He is noted bank robber Will Montgomery and director Simon West and writer David Guggenheim go to extreme lengths in the action-packed prologue to prove that despite being on the wrong side of the law, Will is a "good guy."

He takes a phone call from his daughter pre-bank robbery and chats happily with her about a bedtime story. He refuses to allow one of his bank robbing accomplices, Vincent (Josh Lucas), to murder an innocent witness. "We're not killers," Will explains. And he refuses to name the names of Vincent or his other accomplices, security expert Hoyt (M.C. Gainey) and comely getaway driver Riley (comely Malin Akerman), when put behind bars by vengeful cop Harlend (Danny Huston, in a jaunty hat) after his refusal to murder the innocent witness lands him behind bars.

And once he is released eight years later he plans to go the route of comely Riley and lead the straight life, making up with his aged daughter (Sami Gayle). But problems, as they must, emerge. 1.) His daughter wants nothing to do with him. 2.) His daughter is kidnapped by re-christened cabbie Vincent who locks her in the trunk of his taxi and demands $10 million from Will to spare her life.

See, Will burned the $10 million from the previous bank job to lessen his jail sentence and Vincent has always held a grudge. The grudge, in fact, has caused Vincent to go to - in the words of comely Riley - "dark." So dark he has (gasp!) grown long, ratty hair and (egads!) acquired a prosthetic leg. In other words, Josh Lucas does the crazy-eyes acting here.

Crazy-Eyes Josh Lucas, or is that Chris Elliott?
Trouble is, Lucas basically looks like Chris Elliott in "Scary Movie 2" and is about as threatening. The timbre of his voice was just never meant to generate menace and when he goes off the deep end he is in water 12 feet less deep than when Nicolas Cage goes off the deep end.

Nicolas Cage's "Stolen" is set, for the most part, over a 24 hour period on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. Theoretically this is to allow for a certain sense of atmosphere, but really this is to allow a great many crowds and/or floats which characters can use to conveniently escape either from the authorities or from other bad guys when the screenplay cannot quite figure out how to manufacture the escape on its own. It also allows for the obligatory shot of Nicolas Cage dramatically running up and over cabs while "the clock is ticking." And really that's what Nicolas Cage's "Stolen" is all about - Nicolas Cage running up and over cabs while "the clock is ticking."

Although it's also about the comely Malin Akerman helping Nicolas Cage thieve $10 million in gold bars in a sequence that makes robbing a bank look at least as easy as Gary Oldman hi-jacking "Air Force One"......while dressed in chic high heel boots. You could poke a lot of holes in the story of Nicolas Cage's "Stolen" but you cannot deny that the comely Malin Akerman could pull off a bank robbery while dressed in chic high heel boots.

That might have been the single most credible plot point of a movie in 2012. I mean, if the comely Malin Akerman can't pull off a bank robbery while dressed in chic high heel boots, cinema may as well just go ahead and retire as an artistic medium.  

The comely Malin Akerman, who pulls off a bank robbery while dressed in chic high heel boots.


Derek Armstrong said...

I disliked this movie quite a lot, but it's a very bland kind of dislike, I'm afraid to say. Nicolas Cage's worst fate might be to become boring.

Nick Prigge said...

I know! I don't understand what they were thinking! It's a Nicolas Cage grab for cash! Unleash his insanity!