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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Stolen review: thief of parts

Stolen red light Nicolas Cage

By turns hilarious, absurd, offensive, and insulting, this is all rote action that will pique your interest only when it is being completely ridiculous.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): the trailer looked ridiculous

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Here, have some Cage rage. On the day he gets out of prison after eight years in the clink, Will Montgomery (Nicolas Cage: The Croods) is forced to run around New Orleans yelling a lot and randomly waving guns in people’s faces because his former partner, Vincent (Josh Lucas: J. Edgar), has kidnapped his teen daughter, Alison (Sami Gayle), in order to get Will to cough up the millions in spoils from their last job. The Expendables 2 director Simon West and Safe House screenwriter David Guggenheim have teamed up on a flick that is worse than both of those combined in a sort of loop-de-loop of negative seen-it, been-there feedback action. Stolen is 1) hilarious: how Vincent faked his death to fool the FBI into leaving him alone does not speak well for the FBI’s forensic talents; 2) absurd: Will doesn’t know what GPS is, yet he’s a whiz with a top-secret Homeland Security computer system; and 3) offensive: it turns out that having to rescue your daughter from a madman is a good way to reconnect when she’s mad at you for abandoning her for half of her life. The whole shebang reeks of desperation, from the forced excitement of one-car “chases” and brake-slamming that leads to multiple car-flipping, to some Mardi Gras parade action lifted from The Fugitive (but not pulled off half so well), to Will’s scheme to rob one more bank to pay off Vincent, which he totally planned in his head in prison and pulls off without a hitch, because nothing at all had changed over the course of eight years in the security setup of a bank that Will had previously robbed. Oh, so, 4) insulting: how stupid do they think we are?

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Stolen (2012)
US/Can release: Sep 14 2012
UK/Ire release: Mar 22 2013

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated CF (contains cinematic felonies)
MPAA: rated R for some violence and brief language
BBFC: rated 12A (contains moderate violence and infrequent strong language)

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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