Mini-Review Monday: The Italian Job (2003)


Release: May 30, 2003

Story: Six thieves pull off the greatest heist of their careers when they steal $35 million worth of gold bricks from Venice gangsters. “Handsome Rob” (the team’s wheelman played by Jason Statham), Lyle (a computer expert played by Seth Green), “Left Ear” (a master of demolition and explosives played by Mos Def), Charlie (the team leader and brains behind the operation played by Mark Wahlberg) and John Bridger (a safe cracker, played by Donald Sutherland, who is Charlie’s mentor and father figure) are betrayed by their fellow team member Steve (played by Edward Norton). Steve kills John and leaves the others for dead at the bottom of a frigid lake. The team survives, and with the help of John’s daughter (a civilian safe and vault technician for the authorities) they are out to get revenge on Steve and take back the gold.

Thoughts: This remake of the classic 1969 British caper starring Michael Caine is a standard, by-the-numbers heist film. Its characters are quirky but underdeveloped, Wahlberg and Theron have little to no romantic chemistry and Norton feels like he’s phoning it in with his villainous role. Thankfully, The Italian Job manages to be fun despite its flaws. The plan to take back the gold is inventive, there are some cool (if not all that extraordinary) car chases, and Statham, Mos Def and Green are charming even if they don’t have much going for them. This isn’t any sort of masterpiece, but it’s a fun enough way to spend a couple hours.


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