A classic novel by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson novel famously speculates that there are two sides to every person.
The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called the negative side of the personality, the “shadow” self. Josh Lucas, he of the honest, open face and good natured demeanour plays a robber who allows his dark side to consume him in “Stolen”, an action thriller in which Oscar winning action star Nicholas Cage re-teams with English director Simon West after their 1997 blockbuster hit Con Air.
Interestingly, Lucas acted in a 2009 mystery thriller of the same name. Those who want to stick the knife into Cage and West will say the plot-line has been stolen from Liam Neeson’s sleeper hit “Taken”. Never mind if “Stolen” is basically a heist flick or that West scored big with “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and “The Expendables 2”.
The fast-paced film plays out during the fabled Mardi Gras (Carnival) march in New Orleans. Montgomery (Cage) is a country rock (Creedence Clearwater Revival) fan and expert thief who is jailed for eight years in a bank robbery that failed. On his release, he wants to make up for lost time with his only daughter, Alison Loeb (Sami Gayle) who is in therapy for abandonment issues. Montgomery’s former partners in crime Vincent (Lucas) and Hoyt (Gainey) FBI agent Tim Harlend (Huston) and his aide Fletcher (Valley) are all convinced that the loot (a whopping $10 Million) was stashed away by Montgomery just before he was nabbed by the law. Hoyt and Vincent therefore kidnap Alison and demand their share of the loot. Montgomery then seeks the help of yet another ex-partner in crime, Riley (Akerman) Jeffers who is now running a bar.
Cage is his usual dependable self but who would have imagined the attractive Lucas could transform into such a repellent person? Certainly, the costume designer, hair and make-up people have played their part but in the end, the actor has to carry it off.
That Lucas does, with straggly straw-locks, nicotine stained teeth and a single leg like Long John Silver, the primary antagonist of the novel Treasure Island by R L Stevenson, who, lest we forget, is the author of yet another literary classic named, Kidnapped.