Despite having built enough of a cult reputation to earn a glossy remake in 2000 (starring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie), the car-chase movie Gone in 60 Seconds is a wobbly piece of work. Created as a passion project/vanity piece by first-timer H.B. Halicki—who served as writer, producer, director, star, and stunt driver—the picture is about a car thief’s epic quest to steal one particular model of Ford Mustang in order to fulfill a bulk order from nefarious clients. Owing to Halicki’s inexperience, virtually every aspect of the film’s execution contributes to overall sloppiness. The script was more or less made up as Halicki went along, so it’s often hard to tell how scenes relate to each other, and the production sound is terrible, so dialogue is either indecipherable or terribly dubbed. The acting is just as bad as the filmmaking, with wooden non-performers delivering lines flatly. Furthermore, because the crooks in the movie wear disguises to look alike, it’s often difficult to tell which character is appearing in which scene. Given these egregious shortcomings, Gone in 60 Seconds lives and dies entirely on the strength of its money shots. Happily for Halicki, large-scale automotive spectacle flows freely throughout the picture—in addition to lengthy scenes of cars zooming down city roads and highways at crazy speeds, Gone in 60 Seconds features an outrageous number of car crashes. According to the lore surrounding the movie, Halicki was an avid car collector who provided dozens of vehicles for onscreen destruction, often repairing vehicles after crash scenes so they could be slammed again and again. Halicki also performed many dangerous stunts, resulting in moments like a heart-stopping crash during which the main car—a Mustang that Halicki’s character nicknames “Eleanor”—spins into a light post after tapping another car while blazing full-speed down a highway. Halicki walked away from that one, but his luck didn’t last forever. After making two more features, neither of which gained the notoriety of his debut, the director was killed in 1989 while filming a stunt for a planned sequel to Gone in 60 Seconds.
Gone in 60 Seconds: FUNKY