Sunday, 18 August 2013



Nicolas Cage is one of those actors who's had several opportunities to do "proper" acting in his career, but for some reason has settled for template action thriller nonsense and frequently seems to have no interest in whether the films are any good or not. It wouldn't have taken the world's most gifted clairvoyant to have predicted that remaking The Wicker Man was a thoroughly stupid idea, and while Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance was watchable enough (certainly more than the first one, anyway), it was never anything more than that and quite clearly never had any hope of being anything more than that. Routine thrillers like Justice and Trespass, granted only a fleeting cinema release before heading for their natural home on the Blockbusters bargain shelf, have taken over from explosive A-list action movies like Con Air and Face/Off in the Cageography, and these days he doesn't even bother to reward us with one of his endlessly rewatchable bug-eyed shouty freakout scenes.

Stolen is an entirely formulaic, entirely generic and very silly thriller with plenty of efficiently mounted chases, fights and shootings to satisfy the knuckleheaded action fan demographic while not filling it with blood and swearing: it's a 12 certificate, but at that level it's a lot less dodgy a proposition than, say, A Good Day To Die Hard. Career criminal Nic Cage comes out of prison after a long sentence for armed robbery, and immediately both the FBI and his ex-colleagues want to know where the missing $10 million was hidden. One of the gang even abducts Cage's teenage daughter, and won't believes him when he claims to have burnt the cash before arrest to avoid a longer jail term...

It is monumentally daft but perfectly entertaining fun, well enough staged by Simon West (of The Expendables 2) and enjoyably violent in places, with a decent supporting cast (Malin Akerman, Danny Huston, Josh Lucas) and Nic Cage doing his standard Nic Cage routine, despite the pullquote on the front of the DVD box claiming it's "Cage's finest performance in almost a decade". Certainly it's a far better bet than Trespass or Justice, and it's easily worth the rental fee for a Friday night, but the plot ultimately demands that Cage commit another huge-scale robbery in a matter of hours to make up the perceived debt and it's frankly unbelievable at that point. Worth a watch, but don't go in expecting another Con Air.



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