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The Italian Job /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Christina Cabot, Mos Def
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Produced by: Donald De Line
Written by: Donna Powers, Wayne Powers, Troy Kennedy-Martin
Distributor: Paramount Pictures


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     We havenít had a good, old-fashioned, popcorn heist flick for a while. But, no fear, The Italian Job is here to entertain us with that campy, predictable structure that we couldnít live without. The ensemble cast features Edward Norton, Mark Wahlberg, Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Seth Green, Jason Statham, and Most Def. Most of these performers walk through there roles, but this doesnít affect the final cut of the film a tad. The Italian Job has everything a movie of this genre needs: great chase scenes, cool, unheard-of technology, the big names in Hollywood, and those loveable Minis that stroll around the streets at raging speeds. With all of these elements, I donít see how anyone could possibly complainóIím definitely not.

     A remake of the 1969 Peter Collison film, The Italian Job is a faithful and entertaining rendition. The movie opens to the city of Venice, where master heist man John Bridger (Sutherland) and his team steal 35 million dollars in gold. Their execution of a flawless plan was successful, and the team thought that they had pulled it off. But, when one of their own (and thought to be trusted) member, Steve (Edward Norton), double-crosses themóit becomes a much different story. Steve nabs the gold and kills John, while the rest of the group is defenseless, trying to escape the same rapid fire that killed their leader. After Steve escapes successfully, and the rest of the group gets off of the scene safely, the plot takes us to Los Angeles. This is where Steve had been hiding with the gold. The rest of the group, along with Johnís daughter, Stella, must take back all thatís rightfully theirs from Steve.

     The action here is some of the best of the year, even though the chase sequences canít quite surpass those of The Matrix Reloaded. The stunts are well-choreographed, and have a distinctly cheesy likeability to them. A lot of this is the work of Director F. Gary Gray, who should be commended for his many daring attempts on The Italian Job. The action is what makes this film so fun, and the fact that itís well done is a blessing. I was thoroughly entertained by this film, and the reason it was so enjoyable is because it was well-made. There were no distractions caused by poor direction or production. When viewing The Italian Job I leaned back in my chair, threw kernels of popcorn into my mouth, and was amused by almost every frame of footage that was dispensed by the projector.

     Most of the actors and actresses walked through their roles, but two performances stand out among the packóGreenís and Theronís. Green is very funny, and the humor his character offers us is perfect; its execution still stays true to the way that it was used in the original film, but the jokes are different, and of a more modern taste. His performance pretty much flawless, for what it suits. Theron is probably the strongest in the movie; her performance is the most effective. She is very laid-back, and we have a good time while watching her character. Theron is, without a doubt, very sexy in this movie, too. Her execution of the role of Stella Bridger is pitch-perfect, and she helps The Italian Job, as a whole, immensely.

     An excellent way to kick off the summer, The Italian Job is a proficiently involving heist flick thatís much better than the average release. The action in first-rate, and entertains for the entire duration of the film. Theron and Green deliver the best performances, and even though the rest of the cast walks through their roles, The Italian Job thrives on the tremendous energy of themónot the quality of their interpretations of the characters. Iíd take a movie of this quality any day, and I hope there are many more like it, throughout the rest of the summer.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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