Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
I believe, in my long and undistinguished career of sitting on my butt and watching movies, that I just might've witnessed the most forgettable and disposable movie, in the history of this undistinguished career of mine, and 'Stolen'… you be that movie.  Not the worst movie I've ever seen, oh good Lord no… just one that I'd better write down something about very quickly or I will have forgotten everything that has just passed before my eyes.

Nicolas Cage, still clearly paying off his tax burden, assumes the role of master safe cracker Will Montgomery.  This particular evening in New Orleans is looking bad for Will and his crew which consists of Vincent the hothead (Josh Lucas), Riley the hot chick (Malin Akerman) and Hoyt the wheelman (M.C. Gainey), because top cop Tim Harland (Danny Huston) has a gotten a hot tip and has a virtual army on the ready to bust these clowns the minute they walk out with the loot of this bank they are planning to stick up.

A series of unfortunate circumstances occurs which leads to Will, all by his lonesome, going all 'Gone in Sixty Seconds' on these cops with ten million in tow.  Eventually these cops manage to corner poor Will who makes the fateful decision to lose the ten million, theory being that he'll get a lighter sentence if he has no money even though the money is missing and he clearly stole it.  I guess that's how that works. 

Ten years pass and now Will is out of the clink, the cops still thinks he has the money but the only thing Will wants to do is reconnect his now sixteen year old daughter
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Alison (Sami Gayle) who is understandably somewhat disappointed with her old man and his poor life decisions.  Alison is about to make a very bad decision of her own on this day, that being getting into the cab of a guy with one leg who looks to be clearly out of his mind.  This guy would be Vincent the hothead and the years have not been kind to Vincent.  In fact, the world thought Vincent to be dead but Vince is very much alive and he wants his cut of the loot that Will swears doesn't exist anymore.  Whatever dude, Vince informs Will that had better come up with that money, or some facsimile thereof, or in twelve hours time his baby girl is dead meat.

Now the race is on.  Will tries to tell the cops about his situation but they think him to be a stinking lying thief.  Because that's what he is.  Now it's up to Will, all by his lonesome, and his impressive skill set which includes kung-fu fighting, FBI computer hacking, racecar driving, and overall badassery, to save his baby girl.  It's going to happen and the chances are you won't care when it does.

I don't know man, but it would seem that a movie with a seasoned action director such as Simon West, a leading man in Nicholas Cage who is still viable despite the properties he's chosen to take on these last few times out, and supporting cast that's really above board… you'd think that 'Stolen' would've been better.  Even by accident.  But no sir or madam, what we have is one of the more mediocre, tired, lazy, run-of-the mill action thrillers that I can recall seeing in quite some time. 

Working off of a script from Davis Guggenheim, one that feels more like it was generated than actually written, 'Stolen' comes across as if some people got together for a couple of fun weeks in New Orleans with the mandate, as far as this movie was concerned, was to 'just get through it'.  There aren't a lot of surprises, there's nothing particularly clever or interesting going on, the action sequences were routine, the narrative was straightforward and uninspiring, except for the expected action movie stupidity that we have come to love and expect, i.e. the concept that ten million dollars in tightly wound bills could actually burn in a few seconds or that robbing a gold reserve is as easy as drilling a hole in sewer and a possessing a blowtorch.   This over blasé approach spilled over to the acting as well as the performances from the talented cast of actors appeared to follow the 'just get through it' mandate.

Again, it's not like 'Stolen' is horrible.  I mean I've seen horrible movies… trust me on this… and 'Stolen' is competently produced, and bored but gifted actors reading off of a generated script surrounded by rudimentary everything still managed to make 'Stolen' somewhat watchable, but forgive me for expecting a little more. 
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