Direction: Simon West
Actors: Nicolas Cage; Josh Lucas
The nightmare of a child's kidnapping has been turned into a tangled thriller which fails to deliver on its potential. Re-teaming for the first time since Con Air (1997) with director Simon West, the suitably hardbitten Nicolas Cage portrays a bank robber released from prison after serving an eight-year sentence.
His plans to turn over a new leaf are put on a back-burner when he discovers that his teenage daughter (Sami Gayle) has been abducted. The slipshod script focuses on the father's attempt to track down his former partner-in-crime (Lucas, hamming it to the hilt) who demands a $ 10 million ransom to free the hostage.
The redeeming feature of West's previous films including Expendables 2 has always been the hyper-violent action scenes but the shoot-outs and chases in Stolen have a slapdash low-budget feel about them.
The plot is threadbare, the tempo lazy, and the characters are so one-dimensional they can't prevent the ensuing cat-and-mouse game from degenerating into unimaginatively-staged mayhem.
The distraught career criminal's relationship with both the captor and the ineffectual FBI agent (Danny Huston) assigned to the case is perfunctory.
There is zero chemistry between Nicolas Cage and Malin Akerman who plays his reformed cohort. The director also squanders every opportunity to make evocative use of the New Orleans locations during Mardi Gras.
Under the circumstances, the real hostage in this ill-conceived genre exercise turns out to be the unsuspecting viewer.