Stolen (2013)

Stolen (2013)

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Nicolas Cage and his thing for cuddly toys. Sheesh.
Nicolas Cage and his thing for cuddly toys. Sheesh.

Twitter Plot Summary: After 8 years in prison, reformed crook Nicolas Cage has to rescue his kidnapped daughter from a disgruntled former friend.

Genre: Action/Crime/Drama/Thriller

Director: Simon West

Key Cast: Nicolas Cage, Danny Huston, MC Gainey, Malin Akerman, Josh Lucas, Mark Valley.

Five Point Summary:

1. Cheesy action movie soundtrack. Oh dear.
2. Nicolas Cage and his obsession with stuffed teddy bears.
3. An angry man with one leg and an agenda. Amusing.
4. Oh my – I think they just repeated a shot of Malin Akerman from earlier in the film.
5. Stealing gold from the bank vault – do they always just leave bars of gold out like that?

Stolen was on my cinema list earlier this year, but it never made it to any of my local screens so I had to wait for other legitimate means of seeing it to become available. Step up Netflix, you little beauty. Much like Fire With Fire, Stolen is most definitely a made for DVD movie, so the fact it got even a limited cinema release is nothing short of miraculous. It’s about bank robber Will Montgomery (Cage) who is sent to prison after a job goes south. Released from prison 8 years later, his daughter is kidnapped by one of the old members of his team, previously thought to have died years before and in search of his cut of the $10 million they had stolen. 

I’d expect more from Simon West, he has a generally good back catalogue as far as action films go – Con Air is perhaps the pinnacle of his directorial career. You’d have hoped that him re-teaming with Nicolas Cage would be something to celebrate. Nope. It’s a train wreck of a film, badly acted, badly directed and badly scripted. The triumvirate of the bad film, if you will. Nicolas Cage varies between entertaining and entertainingly bad in his performances. Here, he’s entertainingly bad, nowhere near the same levels of insanity he captured for Face/Off or The Wicker Man. His character here is more in the same vein as Goodspeed in The Rock, but with 99% less entertainment value. Meanwhile, Danny Huston chases around after him wearing a lovely pork pie hat. As plots go it’s all rather silly, it doesn’t go anywhere and the finale feels like outtakes from the Terminator franchise mixed with… well, the finale to Fight Fire With Fire. Nothing can hide how low budget the whole thing is – a token bit of fire at the end does nothing but highlight the film’s inadequacies.

Worst Disney audition ever.
Worst Disney audition ever.

The action is laughable. It’s supposed to be kinetic but it feels dull and lifeless. The soundtrack too does it no favours, sub-par action spy theme mixed with an over the top video game of yesteryear. Then there’s Nicolas Cage trying to sprint but instead spends half the running time (pun half intended) hobbling around, breathless like an old man trying to retain his youth. Whilst in the Expendables films, or even the latest batch of resurgent action flicks starring Stallone and/or Schwarzenegger, there’s a sense of fun and a bit of nudge-nudge, wink-wink with the audience. Not here, it’s played completely straight. Shame really, the actors and the director combined should be awesome, instead they’re merely “meh.” There’s hints of how the script could have worked – more humour between Huston and Valley’s cops, more of super crook Nicolas Cage planning bank jobs i stead of spending most of his time being reactive not proactive. Perhaps even a few one liners dotted around would have added a bit of colour to proceedings. But no, we don’t get enough of any of that. Very much a wasted opportunity.

Favourite scene: Stealing gold from the bank – a hint of the potential shown by the script.

Quote: “Although he do scare mah kids when they come to visit their daddy at work. Mah kids are in their 20s.”

Silly Moment: Nicolas Cage crashing the police car just so he can answer the phone.

Score: 2/5

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