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2012 | 95 min | R | 2.39:1



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Theatrical release date

 14 September, 2012
 22 March, 2013

Country of origin

 United States

Box office




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Screenshots from Stolen Blu-ray

Stolen Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, November 8, 2012

It’s easy to blame Nicolas Cage for his horrible career choices as of late, especially when so many of them seem driven primarily by monetary woes, with script quality and directorial competence secondary concerns to the lure of the almighty paycheck. However, with “Stolen,” Cage is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise offensively dopey thriller, powering through the motions with a little of the old Cage spitfire while the rest of the production relies on violence to make its blunt points. “Stolen” is junk but it’s intermittently amusing junk, best when locked in demolition derby mode, while Cage attempts to jazz up the acting by swallowing his sighs to the best of his ability.

A top notch bank robber, Will (Nicolas Cage) and partner Vincent (Josh Lucas) are hoping to pull off a huge job that guarantees them a comfortable future away from the grind of New Orleans, assisted by Riley (Malin Akerman) and Reginald (M.C. Gainey). When Detective Harlend (Danny Huston) attempts to bust their big score, Will is rudely abandoned by his team, left to accept responsibility for the strange disappearance of 10 million dollars. Eight years later, Will is released from prison, hoping to reconnect to his now grown daughter, Alison (Sami Gayle), only to be sucked into old habits once Vincent resurfaces, having faked his own death to distract police interests. Kidnapping Alison, Vincent demands the missing loot from Will, who long ago burned the bills to limit his jail time. Handed 12 hours to cough up the cash or else Alison will be murdered, Will speeds off into the city during Mardi Gras, begging Harlend for help, only to find the police unwilling to trust a career criminal.

Reteaming with “Con Air” director Simon West, Cage doesn’t exactly look enthused to be involved with “Stolen.” It’s low-battery work from the once engaged thespian, who cooks up a few idiosyncrasies to keep himself amused, including Will’s insistence on listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival before a job, soaking up the blinding musical rays as a way to clear his mind. I wish Cage had the energy to inspire “Stolen” to more impressive levels of suspense, but the little moments he does submit manage to lift the moronic material out of the cellar. He also brings a welcome snap to his stuntwork, which finds Will jumping and kicking his way out of a few tangles with the local cops.

At least with Cage around, attention is pulled away from Lucas, who’s abysmal as the baddie, furthering his unremarkable career with yet another dreadful performance. Lucas often turns to strident overacting to sell Vincent’s evil deeds, while burying himself under an embarrassingly cheap wig to articulate the ravages of time as a once proud robber has been reduced to a cabbie, using his car as a mobile prison once Alison is drugged and locked in the trunk. Lucas is difficult to watch, making satisfactory work from Huston and Cage all the more pleasurable, while Akerman is wasted on a worthless supporting role as the only trustworthy figure in Will’s life.

“Stolen” is implausible with every forward step, but it’s certainly watchable at times, especially when West cranks up the car stunts, which are marvelous, observing Will use a snatched cop car to pinball around a parking garage or thunder through Fat Tuesday traffic. There’s a smashmouth quality to the production that’s pleasing and broad, keeping the movie entertaining and miles away from its insipid plot. West also uses the routine New Orleans locations smartly, swaddling the chase in the chaos of party time, employing parade routes and tourist distractions to vary the spastic antics, providing a little regional seasoning to a feature in dire need of flavor.

The climax of “Stolen” is pure goofballery, with David Guggenheim’s screenplay unraveling into a wet pile of stupidity at an alarming rate, attempting to muster mano-a-mano firepower for a feature that doesn’t require any extra emphasis. And don’t even get me started on the master plan Will hatches to pay Vincent off and reclaim his daughter. “The Avengers” had more realism. Nevertheless, “Stolen” has its moments of mouthbreathing glory, nurtured along by a tinny but charming score by Mark Isham, who pumps the film up with heroic themes. It’s these little efforts that make all the difference here, keeping the movie semi-engaging when so many elements seem determined to sink it.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Malin Akerman, Josh Lucas, Sami Gayle, Danny Huston, Edrick Browne
Director: Simon West

» See full cast & crew

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