Vroom vroom. Travolta and Jackman race around in a cool car...
dir Dominic Sena|
scr Skip Woods
with John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones, Camryn Grimes, Sam Shepard, Rudolf Martin, Zach Grenier, Drea de Matteo, Nick Loren, Timothy Omundson
release US 25.May.01; UK 27.Jul.01
From style-over-substance director Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds): another preposterous summer action movie, but at least this one is efficiently made and decently acted. Stanley (Jackman) is an ex-con super-hacker who's been court ordered to stay away from computers. Then the luscious Ginger (Berry) seductively lures him back for a big heist masterminded by the legendary Gabriel (Travolta). To ensure Stanley's involvement, his estranged daughter (Grimes) is used as bait. What follows is a seriously high-tech action thriller played out across a Los Angeles landscape dotted with flashy cars, slinky women and a tenacious cop (Cheadle).|
It's utterly unbelievable from start to finish--we never for a moment buy into the increasingly twisty plot or the high-camp characters. Jackman is the only human being here, and as usual he plays the role perfectly (hammy Yankee accent notwithstanding). Travolta is great fun as the shady villain--muscly, creepy, edgy. Berry is wasted; she's initially feisty, then gratuitously topless, then just absent altogether. And Jones is hardly there at all in an abbreviated version of the very same role he played in Gone in 60 Seconds. Meanwhile, the big action sequences are impressive even though the technical stuff is absurd and underdeveloped (they seem to hope the general whizziness of it all will keep us from noticing). The story is stiff and anticlimactic, with mix-and-match plot points. At least it looks intelligent. And if we're going to have this kind of rubbish thrust at us by Hollywood all summer, at least this is consistently