Ribisi, brother of retired superthief Cage, fouls up in an especially stupid way for British nasty Eccleston. To persuade the mob boss not to kill his brother, Cage gets back into the criminal life and assembles a team (Duvall, Jones, Jolie, et al) to steal 50 luxury cars in one night.
A remake in the Bruckheimer (sans Simpson) style of a minor '70s car theft/chase/crash movie (that was written, directed by and starred H.B. Halicki), this is an identikit of recent big-bucks action pictures still mired in the style Bruckheimer - director Dominic Sena barely registers - 'perfected' in the '80s. It brings back the actors, images, plot devices and editing tricks from such hits as Top Gun, Days Of Thunder, The Rock and Con Air, but rushes through its rerun without ever really coming to grips with the fact that one car theft is very much like another.
Patton is a go-between for all the criminal parties on show here, valiantly reprising his Armageddon act by trying to suggest emotional content where none exists, while outclassed cops Lindo and Olyphant plod along in the stylish crooks' tracks, planning to nail Cage once and for all, despite the fact that in LA, "Nobody cares about auto theft."
Among the gimmicks required to keep the plot going is a dog which swallows crucial car keys, a particular model of classic auto about which Cage has a complex, simmering who-left-whom resentment between the brothers, Eccleston's transparent plan to off everybody anyway (the final face-off takes place in what looks rather like a leftover from the set of James Cameron's Terminator 2), and a traffic blockage that prompts Cage to make an Evel Knievel leap which would like to be the highlight of the picture.
Shallow and glossy, but the music is loud, the editing is fast, the cast is overqualified and the cars... well, they're just cool.