THE ITALIAN JOB (2003)
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def, Donald Sutherland, Boris Krutonog, Julie Costello, Oscar Nunez, Olek Krupa and Gawtti.
Screenplay by Wayne Powers and Donna Powers.
Directed by F. Gary Gray.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 111 minutes. Rated PG-13.
Before I even get into what I think of the new remake of the old Michael Caine heist film The Italian Job, I have to take the opportunity to seriously complain about the promotion for the film. Specifically, I am pissed off at the people who made up the coming attractions ad. It is more proof, if any is needed, that movie trailers give up WAY too much information. A major plot twist about fifteen minutes into the film would have been rather shocking… if not for the fact that this occurrence was blatantly shown off in the trailer I’d been seeing for months. Not only that, it showed most of the major plot points coming down the line, even hinting at the final twist in a film that otherwise would rely mostly on the element of surprise.
This is not enough to ruin The Italian Job as a good popcorn caper, but it does put a dent in the audience’s enjoyment. In the twisty-turny landscape of this film, I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been shown a detailed map of coming storylines. But enough critiquing the trailer, let’s get back to the movie.
The Italian Job is a slick and enjoyable thriller, has a fun, attractive cast, beautiful settings and impressive stunts. An odd group of bank thieves (Donald Sutherland, Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Seth Green and Mos Def) plan and pull off a brilliant robbery of gold bars on the canals of Venice. When one of the robbers double-crosses the rest, the others decide to plot an intricate revenge on the traitor.
This leads them to Charlize Theron, playing a safe expert in Philadelphia. They work out their plan in the City of Brotherly Love before going to Los Angeles to pull the job. The heist is wonderfully complex, involving explosives, surveillance, computers, tying up traffic, helicopters, trains, scooters and a bunch of Mini Coopers. The little cars are almost the star of the show, running down stairways, up subway tracks, and into tight parking spaces with apparent ease.
The final job is a fun action rush, though I think if you thought too much about the specifics, it may fall apart. But thinking too much isn’t what you’re supposed to do in a film like The Italian Job, if you just suspend disbelief and give into the movie’s world, you will enjoy The Italian Job. If you can possibly see the movie before seeing the coming attractions trailer, it will be even better. (5/03)
Copyright ©2003 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 30, 2003.