WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After doing an eight-year stretch for knocking over a bank, thief Will Montgomery (Nicolas Cage) is looking forward to reuniting with his daughter, Alison. When she’s kidnapped by his former crony, Vincent (Josh Lucas) - Will must somehow come up with $10 million to pay the ransom. His only chance is to pull a risky robbery in the middle of Mardi Gras- while in the crosshairs of a tenacious FBI agent (Danny Huston).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Poor Nicolas Cage. Much has been written about the declining quality of his films, and STOLEN belongs alongside the similarly dtv SEEKING JUSTICE- right at the bottom of the barrel. Given that STOLEN had a relatively lavish $35 million budget, I’m pretty sure it was never intended to go this route- as director Simon West jumped right from this into the gargantuan EXPENDABLES 2. Still, there’s absolutely nothing about STOLEN that would merit a run in theaters. The action is sporadic, and cheap- and the story has been done (better) about a million times.
The only thing that makes STOLEN somewhat worth-watching are the occasional flashes of lunacy that bring a presumably unintentionally funny vibe to the film. As I’ve written a million times before, I’d rather watch something that’s absolutely atrocious, than merely bad. Atrocious can be fun- and STOLEN is occasionally fun, especialy whenever Josh Lucas in on-screen. Here, Lucas does the impossible- he out overacts Cage! Donning a prosthetic leg, a crazy blond wig (usually Cage gets to wear the goofy wigs), and a meth addiction, his Vincent is a bug-nuts character, prone to waxing philosophic on the history of New Orleans, while not occasionally stopping to do something evil- like terrorize Cage’s daughter, or off a tourist. Lucas is godawful, but in a hilarious, fun way.
The script, by David Guggenheim (who wrote the much better SAFE HOUSE) also dips into the "unintentionally funny" department, such as when an FBI agent greets Cage, upon his release from jail, with the howler "I hope you got raped every day". And there's a tagged on epilogue featuring Huston's character that's moronic- to say the least.
Not too much here, expect for some surprisingly lengthy cast & crew interviews , so behind the scenes B-roll and a featurette .
I think Simon West and Cage were consciously ramping up the film's goofiness in order to recapture the vibe of their last movie together, CON AIR, but they simply didn't have the resources, or the crazy plot- to recapture the balls-out insanity of that film. STOLEN has it's moments (including a hilariously insistent score by Mark Isham)- but it's not entertaining enough to be good, nor bad enough to be fun.