Stolen (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/03/2013

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Disappointing thriller that falls down thanks to a lazy script, an increasingly ridiculous plot and a phoned-in performance by Nicolas Cage.

What's it all about?
Directed by Simon West, Stolen (not to be confused with Taken) is set in New Orleans and stars Nicolas Cage as bank robber Will Montgomery, who's abandoned by his partners after his latest heist goes wrong, forcing him to burn $10 million in cash in order to escape a lengthy jail sentence. Eight years later, Will is released from prison, only to discover that former partner Vincent (Josh Lucas) blames him for the loss of his leg during the heist and has kidnapped his teenage daughter Alison (Sami Gayle), demanding his share of the $10 million, which he believes Will stashed before he was arrested.

Learning that Vincent is driving around New Orleans with Alison in the trunk of a taxi cab, Will gives chase, calling on former partners Riley (Malin Akerman) and Hoyt (M.C. Gainey) along the way. Things are further complicated by the presence of dogged cop Harlend (Danny Huston), who also believes that Will still has the money and is determined to prove it.

The Good
Given the reuniting of Cage with Con Air director West, audiences could be forgiven for expecting a little more from Stolen. Instead, the best things that can be said about it are that West keeps things moving along at a decent pace and there are a handful of enjoyably staged chase sequences.

The Bad
Cage pretty much phones in his performance, depriving the film of the kind of full-on bonkers Cage turn that might have got it up on its feet. Similarly, Josh Lucas lets his fright wig and Pistorius-style prosthetic do all the acting and Malin Akerman is completely wasted as Riley. In fact, only Danny Huston seems to be having any fun; his interplay with his frustrated assistant (Mark Valley as Fletcher) is the most amusing thing in the film, plus he spends the whole of the post-heist section of the movie wearing a Popeye Doyle hat (the reference to The French Connection doesn't exactly do Stolen any favours).

On top of that, the script falters after a promising start and fails to use New Orleans (during Mardi Gras, naturally) in any significant or inventive way, content to just let the characters dodge behind floats and get drowned out by crowds every so often. Similarly, the plot becomes insultingly ridiculous, even for this sort of thing – at one point, Lucas' character violently assaults an Australian, despite the fact that a one-legged, dreadlocked blonde taxi driver in New Orleans wouldn't be too hard to find.

Worth seeing?
West's pacey direction and an arse-friendly running time ensure that Stolen stays just about watchable, but it's nowhere near as much fun as it should have been thanks to a misguided decision by Cage to play it relatively straight for once. He doesn't even have an amusing hair-do. Cage fail.

Stolen has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 14/12/2017 08:11

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