A group of expert thieves led by mastermind Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) and his father figure mentor, John Bridger (Donald Sutherland), successfully steals 35 million dollars worth of gold from a Venetian safe. But they are quickly double-crossed by one of their own partners in crime, who kills Bridger and forces the others to plummet into an icy river, leaving them for dead.
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