Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Movie Review(The Italian Job)...

The Italian Job

Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Italian Job ‘2003’, is not a remake of the 1969 original. They may share the same title and have a car chase with minis but that’s as far as the connection goes. The motivation of the thieves is different, the comedy has been updated and the tone set a little more serious with the death of a team member setting the plot rolling.

The movie opens in Venice, where a group of six crooks are about to pull off the heist of a lifetime: $35 million in gold, and they plan to do it without holding a gun. The rogues' gallery is comprised of Charlie (Mark Wahlberg), the young leader running his first big job; John (Donald Sutherland), the veteran safecracker who is Charlie's mentor; Lyle (Seth Green), the computer whiz who was "the real inventor of Napster;" Handsome Rob (Jason Statham), who once drove across the United States just so he could set the record for the longest freeway chase; Half Ear (Mos Def) an explosives expert; and Steve (Edward Norton), who is about to betray the other five.

The main problem with the movie is its ‘star’. Wahlberg must have been absent the day screen presence was being handed out. One of his simian co-stars from ‘Planet of the Apes’ would perhaps have been a better choice, if only to deliver a somewhat charismatic performance. The director makes the wise decision to have Wahlberg surrounded by a great supporting cast who save this movie from utter blandness. Seth Greene (Austin Powers) provides the laughs alongside rapper-turned-actor Mos Def with the stunning Charlize Theron brightening up proceedings when on screen. Edward Norton apparently wanted nothing to do with the movie but was contractually obliged to appear. His performance is therefore expectedly average.

At times reminiscent of the far superior ’Oceans Eleven’, The Italian Job has occasional bursts of smart dialogue and will hold interest long enough to satisfy those looking for some big-budget blockbuster fun.

2.5 out of 5