Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Italian Job (2003)

Synopsis: Mark Wahlberg mugs his way through formulaic, by-the-numbers remake of classic 1960s heist film
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “The plan was flawless. The execution was perfect.” 
What Did I Learn?: 1) Never mess with mother nature, mother-in-laws, and mother-freaking Ukrainians. 2) FINE stands for Freaked Out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. 3) There are two kinds of thieves in the world: the ones who steal to enrich their lives and those who steal to define their lives. 
Really?: 1) Is there some reason Charlize Theron’s character spends nearly the entire film wearing sleeveless shirts and tank tops? 2) Steve (Edward Norton) richly deserves to meet with an unhappy ending, but gee… couldn’t he have gone to jail, or died from a bullet wound. Knowing he’s about to be horribly tortured to death by Ukrainian gangsters sort-of ruined the ending for me. 3) So, Steve changes his plans to move the gold at the last minute, and the gang is somehow able to change everything, and even develop a complex alternative counter-plan over the course of an evening? 4) Handsome Rob (Jason Stratham) is touted as one of the world’s best wheel-men, except that Stella (Theron) and Charlie (Wahlberg) are also skilled high-speed drivers, which really diminishes his character. 5) Gee…that romance between Stella and Charlie seems awfully tacked-on. 
Rating: The 2003 remake of The Italian Job reminded me a great deal of the new-and-improved Ocean’s Eleven (see: “Synopsis”): slick, fast-paced, and stylishly-directed with lots of impressive special effects, but also bland, and populated with two-dimensional characters spouting forgettable dialogue. It’s ok, but far from great. 6.5/10 stars.

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