Making the Grades
When Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage) learns that his car stealing younger brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) is in big trouble with high-level crook Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccelston), he runs to his rescue. Unfortunately he falls into a difficult dilemma. With Calitri's gun at his head, Memphis must agree to steal fifty cars within four days, or be shot after witnessing his brother's death in a car-crushing machine.
Seeing as the latter option makes for a short movie Memphis, once a renowned car thief himself, agrees to come out of retirement and take the job. Rounding up his former gang of seasoned professionals and his brother's novice assistants, the group plans for a one-night assault on Southern California's luxury car population. But as they form their strategies, they face opposition from a competing gang as well as Detective Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo), head of the police's grand theft auto department.
Veteran action movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, scores high points for production quality and effective use of a huge cast of quality actors. However the resounding theme of this PG-13 movie emphasizes the excitement of stealing cars and the camaraderie of associating with other criminals.
Considering themselves modern Robin Hood's, the thieves in this movie never question the ethics of their trade. Add Detective Castlebeck's superior telling him car theft takes a back seat to homicide and other police work, and young audiences may be convinced that heisting a Caddy is the perfect step-up from stealing gum at the drug store.
Cage's character persuasively argues he is only resorting to crime in order to protect his family, leaving the audience rooting for the crooks and laughing at the police who lack the resources to catch Memphis in the act. Plenty of moderate profanities (and the difficult to hear dialogue may have masked even more), criminal and gang violence (although not gory), and a nearly nude scene of a couple preparing to have sex are inserted between close-ups of ignition switches and screaming tires.
Bound to attract teens, parents may want to think for sixty seconds before enrolling their family in Car Theft 101.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Gone In 60 Seconds.
If your family sees this movie, discuss the techniques the writer uses to make the audience sympathetic toward Memphis and his gang of has-been criminals.
What could Memphis have done instead of stealing the cars?
How does the ending of the movie try to justify the crimes committed? Do you think the ending is possible in reality?
What are some of the consequences of the thieves’ actions that are not included in the movie? Why do movies usually overlook the consequences of crime?
In hopes of helping you protect your car from being stolen (perhaps by ambitious audience members of this movie), the good people at Disney have a helpful list of ten things you can do to make your car less attractive to thieves. You can find the list at: http://studio.go.com/movies/goneinsixty/rides_f.html