Taken too – Stolen review

Stolen

By Richard Haridy
June 5, 2013

It’s tough being a Nicolas Cage fan. When he’s not overacting in sublime trash, he seems to be sleepwalking through competent yet generic B-movies. His glory days are evidently behind him, and apart from bright spots like Werner Herzog‘s Bad Lieutenant, Cage hasn’t done much interesting work for over a decade now.

In Stolen, he stars as Will Montgomery, a big time bank robber who ends up in the slammer after a heist goes awry. As Will runs from the cops, he loses the loot before they snag him. The lack of evidence means the coppers can only put him away for eight years, and, before we know it, he’s out and about (during the peak of New Orleans Mardi Gras no less). One of Will’s former crew isn’t too happy about how the job went all those years ago, and decides to kidnap his daughter (Sami Gayle), demanding the lost loot in return. Cue a series of running, jumping, and shooting set-pieces as… well, you know how this is going to play out.

Stolen

Stolen has been criticised for its seeming similarity to Liam Neeson’s Taken, but those critics must have incredibly short memories. The blackmailed, man-on-the-run genre is an action flick staple and Stolen feels much more like a 1990s action piece in the vein of Nick Of Time or The Fugitive. It lacks the gritty, nasty exploitation vibe that permeated Taken and revels in its own silly momentum. Con Air director Simon West refreshingly shoots his action with a sense of stability and clarity that is missing from today’s shaky-cam cinema. Clocking at a lean 90 minutes, West knows where to devote his screen time.

Whilst Cage’s overall muted performance is disappointing, Josh Lucas steps up to the over-the-top plate, channelling Cage’s old-school mania with a truly hilarious turn as the villain. Lucas is a familiar face who’s been chipping away at character work for some time. This is the film, however, that really cements him as a name to watch. Stolen knows what type of movie it is and has resolutely low-ambitions, but it succeeds on its own terms as a fast, fun, B-grade piece of junk.

3/5

Stolen is now available from Quickflix.

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