A “great movie” is not necessarily one that combines superb acting, character development, intelligent comedy and artistic direction. Instead, a great movie is one that succeeds in doing what it set out to do, and therefore the original Gone in 60 Seconds is great indeed.
The car chase scenes in this movie are superior to all others. The 40 minute chase at the end of the movie is obviously cinematic history, but the chase that excited me the most was when the tow truck was trying (and succeeding) to outrun the police. Critics of this movie fail to understand the joy that is brought to a car-loving audience such as myself when a tow truck with an actual car in tow powerslides and fishtails and eventually gets away. This is not something you see in modern high-budget car chase movies. This is the type of genius you see only in a movie created by a guy who really knows the subject matter.
If you want quality acting, well-written drama, and striking cinematography, go elsewhere… it’s as simple as that. The world only needs one Lawrence of Arabia. But if you want to be stunned with incredible action scenes featuring REAL cars (instead of oh, say a Lincoln Navigator like the one in the remake), pick up a copy of this movie. And if you must have something to accompany the car chases, listen closely to the dialogue; while it may not be poetic enough for some people’s ears, it’ll make you laugh whether the writer intended it or not.