Simple but effective!
Even though the original movie gets a higher rating, it goes without saying that the remake is not only a great movie by itself, but ultimately more spectacular in terms of action scenes. And if you don’t believe that, consider this!
The Italian Job (2003) has an ensemble cast that’s ten times more appealing than the original British spy movie. And not just because the movie is crammed with famous faces, no, the actors are also very good at what they do.
The leader of the group is one Charlie Croker. This time it’s not Michael Caine in the front seat, but Mark Wahlberg. And although the first one is the superior actor, it’s in fact the second one who fits the character better.
Mark Wahlberg leads a fabulous little group of friends on a dangerous heist in Venice – hence the title The Italian Job – which turns out to be a straight-A success, until one of the guys turns on the group and steals all the gold from under their noses. This bad guy, convincingly brought to life by Edward Norton, also kills one member of the group (we can’t say who, that would be a spoiler!) and takes off without so much as a proper goodbye. So Mark Wahlberg now has to reunite the team and bring his former friend and partner in crime to his knees.
It’s funny how the The Italian Job has so many different kinds of personalities running around in their group:
There’s the funnyman Yasiin Bey, err, probably better known these days as Mos Def. He plays the character Left Ear, because he’s deaf on one side.
There’s the tough guy, Jason Statham, although in this movie he isn’t his usual self ass-kicking martial arts master but more of a smooth-talking womanizer.
There’s the beauty a.k.a. Charlize Theron who’s great with her hands. And no, you perverts, not like that. She’s a professional safe cracker and one of the best in the business.
Finally, there’s the computer nerd which is a character beautifully performed by Seth Green, although this particular computer nerd is more of a handyman than your usual pimpled-faced weirdo.
Last but not least you also have the great Donald Sutherland, but a veteran actor of his stature doesn’t need much introduction …
It’s quite amazing how well each actor fits in the group, like a piece of near-perfect puzzle. Which is why it’s such a pity that the sequel The Brazilian Job never got made. And as time goes by, it seems only less likely it will ever happen …
The greatest feat of The Italian Job is how simple a movie it is, yet it’s never boring, not even for a single minute!
There’s a handful of more-than-decent action scenes, but the movie never tops its first action sequence in Venice which is not only beautifully shot in terms of camera angles and set dressing, but it’s also the one most spectacularly for its stunts and visual effects. It’s not every day you can witness a chase scene with boats in the canals of Venice, can you?
In the end, the movie doesn’t provide anything groundbreaking, but it does what it set out to do. It entertains. The story is fun, the characters stay with you and when all is said and done, you are watching a very fine popcorn movie.
Give it to me straight:
The Italian job cannot be compared to the Michael Caine-predecessor, for the latter one is basically an old movie. The newer version is a lot slicker, smoother and sexier (thanks Charlize Theron!). It has one or two very good action sequences, but it’s ultimately the casting that carries the entire movie on their shoulders. Each actor, most notably Mark Wahlberg, fit their parts beautifully and not for a single second do you take their characters for granted. The atmosphere within the group – as a result of the casting choices – is so good that, at times, you feel as if you’re out with your buddies having a good time.
In the end, The Italian job is nothing short of a straightforward popcorn movie that only wants to entertain. There are no Academy Award-winning performances, no real-life drama, no groundbreaking visual effects. There is just fun-fun-fun! One could say all parties involved don’t just do an Italian job, they do a great job …
Give it to me short:
The Italian job is a simple but effective popcorn movie with a director who keeps the story fresh for two hours. There’s action, some humor and a whole bunch of actors you’ve seen in dozens of other movies. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure!