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domingo, diciembre 10, 2023

Stolen ***

Stolen ***

Stolen, competent entertainment exploiting the Die Hard formula 3 and 4.

Simon West play it safe and Stolen grossing film honors products that enjoyed as a spectator in his childhood and youth. Is very clear that the client is the public and the public must be given first entertainment. West always works on the exploitation of already known formulas that should be updated as each story. In the classic Hollywood would have been an effective and competent craftsman in the studio system able to deal with almost any genre along the lines of the formulas of exploitation. Never risk. You will know what works for the largest audience possible and knows how to sell the proposal from the credits, which in this case have reminded me of heist films of the seventies, although the film commenced the shooting go the other site. Where do I go? Precisely where indicated by the title of her film, which in the U.S. poster tagline leaves everything even clearer: 12 hours. 10 million. One daughter kidnapped. And then the title: Stolen. So and so is the film behaves throughout their footage: blunt, direct and effective.

West does not beat around the bush. Pull the formula of the last two installments of Die Hard, and adjusts the actor with his debut in his first job as a director, Con Air, back in 1997. Know that the shot does not fail. West grew up in the seventies as a spectator watching Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin and Burt Reynolds raise any argument, weak as it was, by their very presence. And he has to Nicolas Cage. Lighten the footage from the Die Hard but otherwise is playing on the same field. A type starter Italian Job and progression Cellular elements interspersed with a ration of rescue mission against time with Nicolas Cage in plan John McClane (Bruce Willis in Die Hard: revenge). The protagonist enlists the help of the authorities, but no use for it, but it allows the story to be lightened with the partnership of love / hate about while away the sausage FBI agent played by the great Danny Huston («What I admire not mean I like»), which manufactures a character Walter Matthau style in the seventies, for example in the first version of Pelham 1,2,3 or The Laughing Policeman. There pretty girl, the stunning Malin Akerman, but no time to fling sentimental (an astute decision). There villain tribute curious background of the monster of terror as an agent of chaos, but without going over (reborn and alienated, and looking like a heavy metal star rundown). There stupid cops who are no better than to show off the plate. And always remains faithful to entertain first objective of the whole thing.

Also want to break here a plea of ​​Nicolas Cage and against prejudice against his work. For many clubs that criticism of Nicolas Cage and many questionable movies that earn this man in his spotty career, is still an actor amply competent and able to fill the screen with charisma that have movie stars given to action the cause. I also recall that this man won an Oscar for his work in Leaving Las Vegas, where many critics and analysts of the films that made him the wave. In many sequences that movie got the same talent that goes into The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off , Lord of War, and other adventures his character more exciting. What happens is that these are action movies, escapism and entertainment, without complexes. And that seemingly opens the door to a devaluation excessive criticism of his work.

Nicolas is not and never has been a bad actor. Just accept make films very bad because it takes years rather disoriented and dragging serious economic problems that force you to hyperactivity counterproductive to his career. The guy does everything, and does everything in almost everything. Not averse to almost nothing. But still a talented actor. And in recent months has staged a pretty interesting movie, Seeking Justice, directed by Roger Donaldson, a good director of intrigue and filmed as Stolen in New Orleans. Both are a pretty decent proposals, each of its kind.

Interestingly in both films the role of the city battered by Hurricane Katryna, some of whose claws show themselves in the streets yet, has a prominent role, although it is more pronounced in urban as Stolen.

Filled with nods, the film employs the most resolute action film tricks and evasion of the eighties and nineties and thus wins the viewer’s complicity, perfectly aware that you are viewing the application of a formula, which does not care if formula that keep you entertained. We have an action prologue, theft of money, which raises the theft postponed (gold), to pull it later. And we do not care to implement tricks already well known, like the surprise, which finally is such that thieves are not where they appear to be, or that final shot with the two girls passing by the cemetery.

The false deception is part of the movie signed pact with the viewer, in which entertainment and evasion are first on the surprise. It’s a director’s choice in terms of a contract signed with the viewer perfectly lawful. This same story, without changing the script, could be counted on key closest to black cinema, harder and sinister characters and situations (for example, not have to work hard to turn this story into a sinister tale with monster included narrating the plot from the point of view of the kidnapped daughter), but the director has chosen to follow a path of least resistance and pay particular tribute to the action movies of the eighties that he has worked in film and television nineties and the year 2000 onwards. The key to how we should interpret the film is its villain. An antagonist which has been built to consciousness as a caricature of the topics of gender and villains in the exaggeration of that characterization as common place gives us the key to his true nature as a satirical homage to a movie that only aims to entertain the audience.

Miguel Juan Payán


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