Now, Gone In 60 Seconds is not a movie really worthy of starting anything, much less an entire new millenium. But it’s very possible that, to understand action movie franchises in the decade that is the 2000’s, you have to start with Gone In 60 Seconds.
You are watching: Master p gone in 60 seconds
Not a franchise itself, thankfully, Gone In 60 Seconds saw it’s lane (pun intended) quickly taken over by The Fast and The Furious.
But to be clear, Gone was there first.
Released in June 2000, Gone beat TFATF to the starting line by 12 months and pre-dated Ocean’s 11 – the stylistic paradigm for pop-action Hollywood in the early aughts – by 18 months.
The more you watch this ridiculous movie (not quite ridiculous or self-aware enough to be truly “good bad”), the more it proves itself emblematic of 00’s action-movie style.
There’s the white lady with dreads:
These glasses:As seen on TheGoldenCloset
But beyond fashion, Gone In 60 Seconds feels like a bridge between 90s and 2000’s action films, a bridge between Bay and Soderbergh.
Or between Bay and Bay: Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys 2 (2003).
Or for that matter, Soderbergh and Soderbergh: Out of Sight (1998) and Ocean’s 11 (2001)
Produced by, of course, Jerry Bruckheimer, Gone In 60 Seconds often feels like it’s trying to be Out of Sight: it’s got the sexual chemistry thing it’s going for (Jolie/Cage to Out of Sight’s Lopez/Clooney), the illicit activity angle, the cops and robbers stuff.
And wasn’t there something with a car or a trunk in Out of Sight? Gone In 60 Seconds (and you may not believe this) is full of cars. So…that’s something.
But where Out of Sight was smart and sexy, Gone in 60 Seconds is just dumb and horny.
Now, there are moments where you think Gone In 60 Seconds knows what movie it is: the Cage/Jolie makeout dialogue, a few funny one-liners here and there, Cage’s moments of all out, wild-eyed Cageness. These are moments bordering on camp, bordering on self-aware.
But it’s never consistent enough.
Two steps forward, one step back: a scene at a bar where Nicolas Cage wants a drink, but this other guy was ordering, so now Angelina Jolie is late on getting this other guy his drink (because she’s also a bartender, of course), but then Nicolas Cage slams his hand on the tablet which scares this other guy, so Nicolas Cage apologizes and offers to pay for other guys drink, which the other guy politely accepts, defusing all comic or violent tension, after which Angelina Jolie pours this other guy’s drink and Nicolas Cage walks away. Then the other guy says, “what about my drink?” and Jolie drinks the drink she just poured for him and says something like, “what about it?” and you’re just like, why the fuck did all that just happen?
As dumb and sometimes-fun as it is, there are some truly astonishing moments of forehead-slapping dumb-genius.
Usually when something is bad, it’s boring. It’s slow, it’s predictable, it’s cliche. Gone In 60 Seconds is all those things, certainly.
But then there are moments in Gone where it is impossible to understand what screenwriter Scott Rosenburg was even going for. It’s bad in a wild, almost refreshing way.
I will point out a few of these almost incomprehensible moments because they are too much fun, but to be clear, not enough fun to watch the entirety of Gone In 60 Seconds for.
Cage: And this “Calitri” is the one who’s after my brother?
Other Guy: Like stains on a mattress.
“Like stains on a mattress” is not the answer to a question. It’s certainly not the answer to this question.
I mean, are stains “after” mattresses? Even if stains are out there chasing mattresses, is the brother the mattress? Is he the stain?
If the writer was going for something like, “does a bear shit in the woods” you would still word the response, “are there stains on a mattress?” and even that sucks.
Like, what about new mattresses? Are we giving up on all of them? ALL mattresses have stains no matter what, now?
You’d have to write, “like stains on a highway motel mattress” and even then: bad way to tell someone their brother is being hunted by a gangster.1st of 3 WTAF Dialogue Moments in Gone In 60 Seconds
From the constant techno music backdrop (yes, all forms of EDM were just called “techno” by everyone in the year 2000), to the hacking scene with unreal visuals and impossible feats of hackery, to the casual dropping of “faggy” – this movie has all the turn-of-the-millenia-action-movie cliches anyone could ask for, and many, that no one asked for.
There’s a brief sequence – around the 1 hour mark, after Nic Cage does his Nic Cage thing (below), and before “Lowrider” stops playing – where the crew is breaking into a rooftop window.
The sequence is quintessential Soderbergh in Ocean’s: fast cuts, tracking shot, close ups of latches opening and drills drilling. It’s enough to make you want more from Gone. And then it’s gone, the scene over so quickly, unlike the film itself which drags on to the 2 hour mark.
Scott Caan In It
Poster With Red-Orange Tint and People On It
A Southern Rapper
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac.
Gone In 60 Seconds:
Nicolas Cage, Robert Duvall, Giovanni Ribisi, Angelina Jolie, Timothy Olyphant.
Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Zoe Saldana, Geoffrey Rush.
A clock kind of like in 24
(The biggest action TV show of the decade, started the year after Gone In 60 Seconds. Both had clocks. Coincidence?)
Now, the 2000’s were full of some really great, high-end action movies I’m not mentioning: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, 300, Quantum of Solace.
But Gone In 60 Seconds is not in that tier. It’s in the realm of The Transporter, XXX, S.W.A.T.
And when compared to those aesthetics, and the aesthetics of non-alien-robots, non-fantasy franchises of the aughts, it’s clear that Gone is a bridge from the 90s to the 00’s mid-to-low tier action films.
Mirror Man and principal-from-Boston Public Chris McBride are talking about stealing cars.
Mirror Man (played by T.J. Cross) makes fun of McBride for wanting gloves to hide his fingerprints.
Mirror Man: Gloves? You don’t need gloves, this is the new age. Check this out.
Mirror opens a box, pulls out tweezers, and uses them to apply jelly to McBride’s fingers, covering his fingertips. The two banter some more, and then…
Mirror Man: Boy got skills right?
Mcbride: (daps up Mirror Man) You look like a little ghetto smurf.
Bro. This killed me.
I’m sorry, but I couldn’t stop rewinding, re-watching and laugh-crying to McBride’s delivery of the “ghetto smurf” line.
It’s hard to explain in text how utterly inexplicable that last line is.
“You look like a little ghetto smurf” is, I checked, not an answer to the question, “boy got skills right?”. Mirror Man is wearing yellow, not blue. He’s kind of short? I guess smurfs are short? But shortness is not in the top 2 of definitive smurf traits. Blueness and usage of the word “smurf” come to mind.
It was a moment of ridiculousness that you wish the movie had more of, a moment that knows it’s ridiculous.2nd of 3 WTAF Dialogue Moments in Gone In 60 Seconds
If you’re concerned about the usage of “ghetto” as a descriptor, I understand. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the racial politics of Gone In 60 Seconds.
The Racial Politics
I did not expect Gone In 60 Seconds to be the rich, cultural time-capsule that it is.
Like America in the year 2000, Gone In 60 Seconds fancies itself post-racial, and like all things that fancy themselves post-racial, it fails.
In terms of race Gone‘s basic premise is that being “edgy” means having Black characters say thing about being Black.
In one doubly-troublesome scene we see McBride at his day job, driving instructor. He’s berating a young Asian woman about how bad of a driver she is. He lists multiple things she does wrong as a driver, basically says she doesn’t belong on the road, and ends it with, “I can’t swim, I stay my Black ass out the pool” as to say that neither of them should do things that stereotypes say they can’t.
The only Hispanic person with a line of dialogue in the film (a baby-faced Michael Pena, actually) threatens two members of the Nic Cage crew with a knife (“cut you up”) after only about 15 seconds of screen time.
Again, the writer is Scott Rosenburg, and no, you’re not racist for assuming that Scott Rosenburg is White. Did he have help with punch-ups from a person of color? Not enough to give them writing credits. Scott Rosenburg takes whole-ass responsibility for every word in this script.
And there’s the scene where Nicolas Cage says, “aiight” to Master P.
Guys, it’s not that a White person says, “aiight” to a Black person.
In this situation, Johnny B has just ran into Nicolas Cage – in the scene I mentioned in “about the rappers” – and now Nicolas Cage and Giovanni Ribisi are running away. They run into a diner where a cop car is parked outside. This forces Master P/ Johnny B to wait with his crew in their car.
So now you have a White criminal being protected by the police (oh yea, the whole story is about super good car-thief Nicolas Cage and Giovanni Ribisi being brothers and having to steal cars 50 cars in one night to save Ribisi’s life from a gangster), flaunting the fact that he’s protected by the police, and using Black slang to rub it in the face of his Black pursuer, by ending his taunts with, “aiight!?”.
Sure, this scene could have been the common trope of “one bad guy can’t hurt another bad guy because the police are suddenly there”.
But the usage of, “aiight” as a taunt, from a White man to a Black man, removes all benefit of doubt. It takes would could be a normal baddy vs. baddy scene and turns it into White guy triumphing over Black guy by hiding behind the legal system.
And Now, DMX
At one point in the film, Mirror Man makes fun of one of his White guy crew members for their musical taste, and then puts on “Up In Here” by DMX, before which, saying, “this is different than that cracker music you’re used to”.
Which is exactly what a Black person would say if that Black person had their dialogue written by an old White person.
DMX was part of a wave of artists that ushered the 90s into the 2000s: sonically, with his Dame Grease and Swizz Beats-led production and stylistically, with his almost sing-song flow.
No one would ever accuse DMX of singing, but his flow is super melodic. Nowadays, every other rapper sings. But DMX made it cool in a time where even Nelly was derided for his sing-rapping.
Unlike some of his contemporaries who have had long-lasting careers, (he’s in a helluva class) X’s career is more or less defined by his 5 platinum, and multi-platinum, albums released between 1998 and 2003.
And perhaps even more accurately: DMX’s peak was May 1998 to December 1999, 18 months in which he released his first 3 albums that have, to date, sold 13.2 million copies. Unreal.
At the turn of the millenia, then, DMX is one of the largest influence on Hip Hop: on what it sounds like and what it talks like.
In Hip Hop, it feels like there was a difference between “when the 80s became the 90s” and “when the 90s became the 2000s”.
A lot of Hip Hop artists who were big in the late 1980s, didn’t make it through the early 1990s, whereas artists whose careers started in the early-to-mid 90s (Nas, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z) have careers that stretch to today.
DMX did not have that kind of longevity.
Therefore, DMX may be the most “end of 90’s beginning of 2000’s” rapper of all-time. No other rapper burned as brightly in the last 2 years of the millenia, only to have their light diminish so quickly thereafter.
“Up In Here” might be the start of mainstream Hip Hop’s 2000’s, the way (and I have proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt) Gone In 60 Seconds is the bridge between 90’s and 2000’s action films.
Using “Up In Here” would be the most self-aware thing Gone In 60 Seconds did, if they were (and I’m like, really sure they weren’t) making this connection at the time.
Cage and Ribisi’s last name is Raines.
So of course, the bad guy tries to use their name in a threatening metaphor.
It’s right there, right? It’s tee’d up? You would think.
Instead, when slamming the phone down, bad gangster guy exclaims, “it never rains but it pours”.
My jaw dropped. Almost anything would be better.
“When they raines, I pour”. Even leave the “es” because he’s Russian/Eastern European.
Did they intend this gangster guy to be a goofy, bad-at-English (because that’s so funny) stumbly bumblefuck? If so, it in no way comes across like that. Instead, we’re all left sitting in a pool of stumbly, bumblefuck writing.3rd of 3 WTAF Dialogue Moments in Gone In 60 Seconds
Ladies, This Movie Could’ve Been So Much Better
Remember when I said Gone In 60 Seconds was full of cars? Yea, it’s not though. At least, not enough for a movie whose entire concept revolves around stealing 50 cars.
In the opening scene Ribisi steals a Porsche from an indoor dealership display. Then no one steals a car for an entire hour of screen time.
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There isn’t even the montage of stealing the 50 cars in one night!
Like, c’mon, do the thing we came to see you do!
You could have had a dozen different stealing situations, short clips of weird/funny circumstances. You could have had the guy crossing the names off the board as the cars come in. Another guy watching the clock, counting down the time remaining, “1 hour….30 minutes”. You could have had sweet shots of beautiful cars driving really fast through Los Angeles. For a movie full of cliches I don’t even think they pretended to be a valet once!
Instead, at one point Nicolas Cage just asks his guy something like, “how many is that?” and the guy says, “48”. That’s it. That’s how they tell us we’re getting into crunch time.
In response to, “48”, Nicolas Cage literally says, “woo hoo”, and not in the cool, twichy, methed-out way Cage could have said “woo hoo”. Just a phoned-in, boring onomatopoeia that sums up the entire movie. Gone In 60 Seconds is, besides, of course, being the definitive action movie of the beginning of 2000’s – the moment where we say this is where the 2000’s started – an unenthusiastic exclamation of excitement that could’ve been so much more.