Honestly, it’s a huge surprise that anybody even bothered watching this film. Who on this planet expected anything worthwhile? Let’s forget the fact that upon first glance, the film appears to completely rip off the mediocre Taken, right down to the damn name.
No, the real reason it’s a surprise anybody watched this is because it stars Nicolas bloody Cage; A man that adds about as much to film as Bronies add to life. Including him in a project is the equivalent of taking your script, throwing it in a barrel filled with every penny you have ever earned in your life, and burning it in one glorious career ending fire (Which (not so) coincidentally happens in this film).
With that out of the way, it’s actually quite a relief to inform that Stolen isn’t anywhere near as bad as you think it will be. That’s not a recommendation – It’s still heavily advised that you avoid this film as if you’re life depends on it – it’s just it doesn’t give you that bad of a migraine.
The film opens up by introducing us to a crack team of “criminal masterminds” (Four jackasses with a big van). The team includes Will Montgomery (The Cage himself) a loving and caring father, who considers sitting in a van outside of a bank waiting to steal $10 million a good time to have a loving conversation with his daughter – and three other paper cut outs who add little to the plot – except for that one guy that nobody cares about that is completely pivotal to the plot. We’ll just call him Shaggy.
The four heroes embark to steal the $10 million when (SPOILER ALERT!!1) it goes wrong. Will is sent to jail for 8 years, and upon his release finds out that one of his former allies (Shag Dog) has kidnapped his daughter and is holding her for ransom. What does he want? His share of the $10 million of course! Which is… $10 million? 10 divided by 4 is 10? C’mon Shaggy, math is not that hard. We soon find out that Will burnt the money, but obviously Raggy ‘aint buying it, so Will’s ridiculous conquest to somehow obtain $10 million dollars in 12 hours begins.
Without spoiling anything – the resolution to this one is mind numbingly stupid.
As previously mentioned, the film bears many resemblances to the 2008 film Taken, but in all honesty, other than the basic premise and marketing, it shares very little with Liam Neeson’s critically acclaimed Shouting at, punching and shooting people. For a start, it lacks the solid acting – It feels futile attacking a Cage film for bad acting, but Bloody hell the acting in this film is bad. We’re talking Wicker Man bad.
The soundtrack? Don’t even go there; it sounds like they’ve tried to give it a ’70’s daytime cop drama’ feel, and instead achieve a ’70’s daytime cop drama that got cancelled after the first episode’ feel. It even has a cheesy 5 minute intro, for good measure I guess. We can only assume that this was a feeble attempt to make the ‘not even good for a straight-to-dvd cash in’ plot seem intentional.
The film doesn’t look bad, it’s got a real blockbuster feel to it, actually, which is pretty incredible all things considered. It’s competently made, but it’s just all so clean and uniform. No attempt has been made by the director to make this film his own; anybody with a basic understanding of framing could have made this. Honestly though, this was probably intentional, because I doubt the big corporate monkeys funding this would want to scare off potential viewers with that ‘innovation’ thing they keep hearing about.
Everything aside, the film does what it says on the tin: It’s entertaining. Yes it may be brain-meltingly stupid and completely uninspired, but who goes to see a Cage flick for anything other than a laugh? If you answered that question with ‘Me’ – then I’d recommend giving this one a miss. I’d also take a moment re-examine your life.
Verdict: Not as bad as stabbing yourself in the face (4/10)
My face when watching: