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GONE IN 60 SECONDS
If only it lived up to its name
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2000 Touchstone Pictures; review copyright (c) 2007 James Southall
It's quite a feat, but Gone in 60 Seconds is probably both the most inconsequential film I've ever seen, and also the most objectionable, with an utterly dumb plot about stealing cars being ridiculously over-acted by a cast which is not that bad (Nicolas Cage is as unlikely an action hero as ever, but you might expect more from Robert Duvall, Angelina Jolie and Ving Rhames). In fact, it's so bad they somehow even made Jolie look completely unattractive. It's directed by Dominic Sena, but the most important creative (or, perhaps, destructuve) presence is of course producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Sometimes indescribably bad films somehow manage to inspire good scores - with the composer ignoring how absurd everything is and writing impressive music anyway. Indeed, there are many film scores by many great film composers which are for truly awful films. This is not one of those times. Trevor Rabin - pretty much Bruckheimer's "house composer" by that stage - has not distinguished himself with outstanding film music on many occasions, but it's still a pity that he couldn't raise his game slightly higher than he did here.
Drum loops and mostly synthesised power anthems abound here - it's a bit like "Music inspired by Top Gun" written by an 8-year-old for his school music project. In fairness to Rabin, I'm sure he was only writing in the style he was told to, and given that constraint it's very difficult to muster up anything particularly worthwile - but even if it's not right to lay the blame at the door of the composer, that doesn't make the music any less awful. There's no soul anywhere to be found - it seems designed to be plastered anywhere in the film the producer and director might want, with no dramatic statement underlying any of it.
Easily the best thing about it is that it's only 29 minutes long. But here's the thing - I don't know how many hundreds of new film scores have been released in the couple of years after this one - and I guess that a pretty large proportion of them were deleted by their record labels a long time ago. Seven years on, this one's still in print, which suggests there is a far larger market for this kind of thing than for any film score album I might like. A bit sad, but true. If extremely simple, directionless rock instrumentals are your thing, then by all means give it a go. Otherwise, use the 29 minutes for doing something more productive, like seeing how many paper clips it takes to make a lifesize replica of Aristotle Onassis.