The Italian Job / Un Boulot à l'Italienne (Bilingual) (2003) [Blu-ray]
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Though it bears little resemblance to the original 1969 thriller starring Michael Caine, the 2003 remake of The Italian Job stands on its own as a caper comedy that's well above average. The title's a misnomer--this time it's actually a Los Angeles job--but the action's just as exciting as it propels a breezy tale of honor and dishonor among competing thieves. Inheriting Caine's role as ace heist-planner Charlie Croker, Mark Wahlberg plays straight-man to a well-cast team of accomplices, including Mos Def, Jason Statham, and scene-stealer Seth Green in a variation of the role originally played by Noel Coward. As the daughter of Croker's ill-fated mentor (Donald Sutherland), Charlize Theron is recruited to double-cross a double-crosser (Edward Norton in oily villain mode), and once again, speedily versatile Mini Coopers play a pivotal role in director F. Gary Gray's exhilarating car-chase climax. It's perhaps the greatest product placement in movie history, and just as fun the second time around. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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"I trust everyone -- I just don't trust the devil inside them."
The above is what seasoned thief John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) says to his protégé Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) in this absorbing and fun heist movie (based loosely on the 1969 British movie of the same name).
Charlie heads a gang of thieves that help him with his jobs:
(1) Stella (Charlize Theron), a safecracker and daughter to John Bridger
(2) Steve (Edward Norton) who is not liked
(3) A computer geek who wants to be called "Napster" (Seth Green)
(4) "Handsome Rob" (Jason Statham), the gang's main wheelman
(5) "Left Ear" (Mos Def), explosives expert
For this particular job, Charlie acquires the talents of "Wrench" (Franky G) and the contacts of "Skinny Pete."
I also liked, what some say, are the real stars of this movie: the Austin mini-coopers. They are used at a key point in the heist.
The movie itself is, as I said, quite fun to watch especially if you like heist movies. I found that it held my attention with its action. (There was little CGI in this movie.)
The acting is quite good especially by Seth Green, Jason Statham, Edward Norton and Donald Sutherland. Mark Wahlberg is the straight man and mastermind in this movie.
Also, look for Spiderman and Ukranians in this movie.
The background music is also quite good. It adds to each scene.
Note that despite this movie's title, only a small part of it occurs in Italy (Venice). The majority of the action takes place in Los Angeles.
When the movie appears to end and the end credits start rolling, don't exit. This movie continues a bit into the end credits.Read more ›
A year goes by and Croker contacts Stella (Charlize Theron), Bridger's daughter and a safe-cracking expert, and tells her that he has picked up the trail of the man who killed her father. He invites her to join his team and help reclaim their gold and avenge John Bridger's death.
Don't be discouraged from watching this movie by believing it to be a modernized remake of the 1969 classic. While there are definitely some connections between them (a plot-driving gold heist, car chases involving mini coopers and the movies' titles), this one is an excellently executed, Gary Gray film that shines on its own.
In a tight, solid plot it combines fast-paced action, thrilling suspense, clever and daring heists, great locales, state-of-the-art technology, engaging and witty characters, and a healthy dose of comedy skillfully added in all the right places. And the fact that it leaves out any unnecessary dramatic, life-altering issues makes it even more fun to watch.
The enjoyable mix of characters flawlessly portrayed by the actors, come alive through smart, snappy dialogues and believable characterizations. The choice of good, old-fashioned stunts that lend authenticity to the action over the not always effective CGI special effects, and the surprisingly pleasant musical score, give this movie the perfect finishing touch.
Sit back and enjoy the ride!
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar