Starring: Nicolas Cage, Josh Lucas, Danny Huston
You may like this if you like: Taken (Pierre Morel, 2008), Ransom (Ron Howard, 1996), Die Hard 4.0 (Len Wiseman, 2007)
Expert bank robber Will Montgomery (Cage) is taking part in a ‘routine’ robbery with his crew; Vincent (Lucas), Riley (Malin Akerman) and Hoyt (M.C. Gainey). However, FBI agent Tim Harlend (Huston) is on his trial and after an argument with Vincent and other delays, the robbery is called off but the crew drive off leaving Will behind with the stolen $10million. Now surrounded, he burns the money and is inevitably caught and sent to prison. However, while in prison he never reveals the identity of his crew or what he did with the money. Eight years later Will is released from prison with the first port of call his daughter who he has not seen for the eight years, after a very awkward meeting she is then kidnapped by Vincent and his demands to Will are that he receives his share of the stolen $10million or Will’s daughter is dead. Not having the money, Will is given 12 hours to either find the psychopathic Vincent, or attempt to once again rob a bank to raise the $10million. To add to the challenge, having not been told what happened to the original $10million, Harlend is still keeping close observation on Will.
Hardly renowned for being in quality films these days, having the words ‘Nicholas’ and ‘Cage’ on a film poster often evokes for me a large sigh and the feeling of “here we go again!”. Well, this is certainly nothing new here and it absolutely stinks of B movie, but at only 90 minutes long is surprisingly passable. Cage does his usual thing of over acting and spends a vast majority of the film running, which is blatantly a struggle for him as he is approaching 50, but that for me added part of the fun. It is always good to see actors giving that 110%!
As I said, this is pure B movie material, and there really is nothing here you have not seen before. This got a very limited cinema release and was hurried to DVD, and despite having an extremely bored looking Nic Cage on the cover it is obvious why. Despite all that, while sitting it at home there are far worse things you can fill 90 minutes with, Taken 2 for example. The performances and script may be extremely text book, but there is enough going on that means the film maintains a surprisingly high pace and never gets boring. Yes of course it is very predictable, but how everything arrives at its conclusion is undeniably reassuring and actually quite enjoyable. The whole FBI subplot and sweaty and crowded carnival New Orleans setting proves effective enough. No one will be on the edge of their seats, but at the same time never bored.
Cage continues his plummet into becoming a B movie star, but an economic running time as well as enough subplots and action going on produces enough to produce a surprisingly watchable and (unintentionally) funny 90 minutes. If you peruse Netflix or Sky and see this, then you could do far worse.