Do you like caper movies? No, not
movies about those little pickled things you put on top of veal.
Capers! Heists! Robberies! High crime. That's
what The Italian Job is all about. It has very little to do
with breaking legs and saying "fuggetaboudit".
The Italian Job is a remake of the 1969 film, The Italian
Job. There are a few similarities between the two films, most
notably the use of the Mini Cooper automobile. The car is featured
prominently in both films. One might wonder if the manufacturer of
the Mini sponsored both films. Or, perhaps the director of each
film received a Mini Cooper, which is quite comfortable and fun to
drive. And don't get me started about all the included features.
(Hey, if the filmmakers can get free Mini Coopers, why shouldn't the
Masked Reviewer cash in too?)
The new Italian Job brings together Mark Wahlberg (whatever
happened to the Funky Bunch, anyway?), Charlize Theron, Ed Norton ("Hey
hey, Ralphie boy!" -- he probably never gets tired of hearing that),
Seth Green, Jason Statham, Mos Def (one of the few people who can enter
their full name with only two entries on the high score list on Ms. Pac
Man), and Donald Sutherland. And, of course, the fuel efficient
The caper element of the film is fine. It seems very much like
Oceans Eleven for the actors that couldn't get into that film.
They all have their charms and are fun to watch. It is a movie
that tells us not only does crime pay, but it's a lot of fun too!
Everything in the film is inconsequential, and there is no impending
threat from the police. But it's not meant to be a crime drama,
just a somewhat comedic heist movie.
A love interest is set up between Wahlberg and Theron, but it doesn't
go anywhere. Besides, what if they got married in real life and
kept both names? Theron-Wahlberg? It sounds like a
The comedic highlights come from Jason Statham (The Transporter,
Snatch) and Seth Green (Scott in Austin Powers films).
Mos Def also has a couple of good lines. Seriously hard core
computer nerds and faithful readers of the Wall Street Journal may
also recognize a cameo by Napster inventor Shawn Flemming. His
five seconds of screen time is the basis for most of Seth Green's
They have a lot of cool nicknames in the film. "Handsome Rob".
"Left Ear". "Wrench". "Steve." It's hard to pull off a
job like this without cool nicknames, and they deliver.
Why is it that the computer guy in these movies always has to do so
much work? In this movie, the computer guy has to take care of the
hardest parts. It seems like he should get a bigger share of the
loot. Which brings us to another issue: at one point in the film,
someone takes all the loot (that's caper lingo for gold). The haul
was $35,000,000 (which is almost 9 times what the haul was in the
original film -- inflation). There were six people on the job.
That's $5.8 million each. When the others try to steal the money
back from the evil thief that stole from the others (no honor among
thieves), there's only $27,000,000 left. That means the evil thief
spent $8,000,000. If he had split up the money fairly after the
first caper, he only would've had $5.8 million. In other words,
not only does crime pay, but stealing from your friends pays even
better. The Masked Reviewer will remember that.
Sure, there were a few minor technical flaws with the film. For
example, a safe must be cracked. A hole has to be drilled through
it, but there's a glass plate that might get broken between the metal
walls of the safe. If the glass plate breaks, metal bars snap into
place sealing the safe forever. The safecracker drills a bit and
the glass starts to crack. Oooh...suspensful. However, the
same safe just fell 30 feet onto concrete. It must be that special
glass that only cracks when drilled, not dropped. But, the Masked
Reviewer might be nitpicking.
All in all, though, it's a fun little diversion. It lacks the
ultracool hippness of Oceans Eleven and the really clever caper
elements of films like Heist. If you liked those films,
The Italian Job will be right up your back alley. If you want
a deep, thrilling, mysterious adventure, or a brooding exploration of
the soul of a criminal, pass on this film. It's fine, the actors
are fun to watch, but all in all it's not terribly memorable. A
light diversion (which is what they usually do before stealing your
money, so watch out).
Expectation from the Title: A movie about some new kind of
sexual act that involves spaghetti sauce. Hookers charge $35 for
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
They all seem to like each other, and it's nice when people work well
The Pros: Fun, light, decent driving scenes. Likeable
actors. Best cameo for a file sharing service creator.
The Cons: Thin characters, not-too-compelling plot. Love story
not so hot. No nudity. Might be too meaningless for many.