Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage, a Bruckheimer regular, having starred in "Con Air" and "The Rock") is a retired car thief who spends his days teaching grade-school kids how to race bumper cars until an old acquaintance apprises him that there's trouble back home in Long Beach. His younger brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) has taken up his old line of work. Having accidentally busted up a major boost, Kip's now being held accountable, and in order to save his life, Memphis has to deliver 50 cars--one of which is his "unicorn," a'67 Shelby GT500--to a boat ready to sail in three days.
Revisiting old haunts, Memphis reassembles his old crew--including Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall), who'd strip the cars Memphis pinched, and Sarah "Sway" Wayland (Angelina Jolie, in an underwritten role), his ex-partner in more ways than one--and convinces them to give up the straight-and-narrow routine for one last night of fun. Accepting help from Kip and his crew of stock characters--the computer geek, the chatty hip-hop scam artist armed with hi-tech gizmos, the thug and the guy who can order a mean pizza--Memphis designs a plan to fill the order in one night, before his old nemesis Detective Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) catches on.
If ever there was a movie for which the phrase "high-octane" was coined, this is it. Loud music, dramatic camera angles and harrowing car chases reaching upwards of 160 miles per hour nearly drown out the sappy drama that seeps in anyway, spawning lines such "A brother's love is a brother's love." Likewise, the generous doses of humor are good for a belly laugh during the course of the movie until one realizes that the jokes really aren't all that clever and in fact you've heard them before. Finally, the car chases--for which the original 1974 version was notorious--are fun and, for the most part, inherent to the script, but one can't help observing that most of Memphis' narrow escapes can be attributed to luck rather than any sort of driving skill. Starring Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall, Delroy Lindo and Will Patton. Directed by Dominic Sena. Written by Scott Rosenberg. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Mike Stenson. A Buena Vista release. Action. Rated PG-13 for violence, sexuality and language. Running time: 118 min