What do you get when you take the already ludicrous plot of Liam Neeson’s Taken and put Nicholas Cage in it? Theoretically, an over the top guilty pleasure of a camp fest. Sadly, in this case we get Stolen, a retarded cousin of Taken.
Directed by Simon West, who made the fun Con Air and the recent (terrible but also fun) The Expendables 2¸Stolen is so behind the curve it’s hilarious. We have Nic Cage as Will, a heist grandmaster who teams up with Vincent (Josh Lucas) for a failed robbery which results in his imprisonment and Vincent’s death. Eight years later, Will steps out of prison to discover that Vincent is still alive, and has kidnapped his daughter to demand $10 million for the failed heist. Will has no choice but to recruit the hottest chick that he can find and rob a bank to pay off Vincent.
West makes no bones about delivering the most comatose action sequences that he can muster. From the tiresome running and jumping to the flashy editing to the numbing camerawork to Cage’s bored expressionless face, Stolen makes sure you beg for the minute hand on your watch to speed the hell up. The only interesting bits of the film come from Josh Lucas who seems to enjoy looking stoned, earnestly mumbling the corny lines from David Guggenheim’s script. The best scene from the film involves Vincent threatening Will’s daughter by showing her his mutilated hand, even though actress Sami Gayle looks like she could be threatened by a dangling her Revlon mascara case over a balcony. There is also Danny Huston as an FBI agent who gives John Abraham a run for his money when it comes to shifting the muscles on his face.
Cage, on the other hand is neither in his fun B-movie avatar nor in his senses – his sole purpose on camera seems to be staying awake and reading the lines off a teleprompter. Generally terrible Nic Cage movies are passable harmless fun over a couple of drinks but Stolen takes itself too seriously for its own good. Had the film carried the OTT tone of Drive Angry 3D or Bad Lieutenant or this movie, it would’ve probably been a worthwhile watch.
(First published in MiD Day)