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Review: The Italian Job (2003)

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You can’t say that the 2003 remake of the 1969 heist movie The Italian Job was lacking in star power. Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, and Donald Sutherland all take part in this favorite of cable TV showings.

Expert safe cracker John Bridger (Sutherland) has come out of retirement to do one more job in Italy. His former mentore Charlie Croker (Wahlberg) now leads the team of Handsome Rob (Statham), Lyle (Seth Green), Steve (Norton), and Left-Ear (Mos Def). With their various skills and meticulous planning, they end up stealing millions worth of gold bars. However (SPOILER!!!!), Steve betrays them, and ends up killing John and taking the gold. Sometime later, after Steve thinks all of his former crew is dead, Charlie tries to get the gang back together for some revenge. They also add John’s daughter, Stella (Theron) to take the place of the safe cracker.

The result of all of these factors makes it one of my favorite heist movies. It wont win any awards for its artistry, but it sure is entertaining. Statham shows some of what would become a leading actor, Wahlberg is his charismatic self, and Theron is steady. The only disappointment is Norton. Even before I read that he was not happy during production, I could tell his performance was lacking. Every movie that I’ve seen Edward Norton in, his performance is typically my favorite; not this one. However, even with a sub par baddie, The Italian Job still has you intently watching every scene. And by the end, the payoff is just as good for the viewer as the lovable thieves.

My Rating: B+


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