This film was a remake of a 1974 film of the same name with a similar plot but with different names for the characters that are used in the film. This film is full of high speed action and crazy car chases as the bad boy gone good gone bad again to save his brother tries to stay one step ahead of the law. The film has lots of action, hard rock’n music and even an explosion or two during some of the wildest car chases you will see on the screen. If you love fast cars, good music and a bit of comedy here and there then you are going to enjoy this film, without a doubt.
Randall Memphis Raines (Nicolas Cage) in the day used to be the best boost in the business. He could steal anything and everything on wheels and did it just for the thrill of it. The only car that ever eluded him was that of a 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 that he always refers to as Eleanor. That one car is his personal unicorn and he gets nervous just being around one. Now he is a gas station attendant, possibly even an owner that loves to teach kids how to race go-karts behind his station. He is putting the past behind him and doing what he can to make up for all that he has done in the past. That is till he is visited by his old friend and boost buddy Atlee Jackson (Will Patton). Atlee has come to tell him that his brother is in some serious trouble and he needs Memphis’ help in getting him out of it.
Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi) is the younger brother of Memphis and is doing everything that he can to follow in his brother’s footsteps. Randall never wanted that for him but Kip doesn’t care, he just sees himself in the shadow of his older brother and wants to prove what it takes to be the best boost or car thief that there is. His name got him the job but his mouth is going to get him killed sooner then later. He has taken a job with a crime lord, The Carpenter, Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston) to steal 48 cars by a set amount of time. Kip’s inexperience and the inexperience of his crew wind up having the cops follow them directly to their staging location. Now all the cars are impounded and he is practically out of time and his own life is on the line. Calitri and his men are about to kill him when Memphis shows up to talk to Raymond. It is only his promise to get the cars that Kip didn’t that saves the brother’s life.
With less then 4 days he has to find all the cars, scout them and steel them and he doesn’t even have a crew to work with. He has to do something or his brother is dead. With no one to turn to he contacts Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall) who used to run a chop shop when Randall was running cars. Now Otto is running a car restoration business instead and already knows what is going on as he still has ears on the street. With some convincing Randall is able to convince Otto to help him out and they start making calls to get a crew together. With every call that they make they feel older and older as they find more and more of their past friends and associates that are dead or otherwise unavailable. Very few of their old crew are available and in the end they have Donny Astricky (Chi McBride) who is running a driver training school, The Sphinx (Vinnie Jones) who is working for the county morgue and never speaks, and Sway.
Sara ‘Sway’ Wayland (Angelina Jolie) is the hardest one to get and Memphis didn’t even want to go to her but her had no choice if he was going to get the job done. When he finds her she is working as a mechanic during the day and a bar tender at night just to pay the bills. She tells him that she quit running after he left because the thrill of it just wasn’t there anymore without him. At first she turns him down and it is not till the next day when they are arguing if Kip and his crew were going to help with the boosts or not. Her just walking in calms them all down and she says she is doing it to save Kip and the rest just fall in line.
Now on the law side of the equation you have Detectives Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant) trying to shut the car thieves down. It is not till much later that they find out that Calitri is even involved but it would be a big feather in their cap if they could bring him down. Castlebeck has had dealing with Randall in the past and had hoped that he would never come back to Long Beach, especially when Randall wised up and left town to get out of and stay out of trouble. Knowing that Randall is back Castlebeck knows that there is going to be nothing but trouble. The more he digs the more he sees just how bad the situation is and why Randall is even in town. If he can he will take him down and throw him in jail for good, if he can catch him.
As I said, this film is full of wild car chases, desperate gun fights and seat of your pants action as Memphis, Sway and Kip try to make sure all the cars get the to dock on time. There is even a jump stunt that would make Evel Knievel proud using Eleanor, the 1967 Ford Shelby GT500.
I give this film a Musing review of