The Italian Job (2003)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/28/03
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Mos Def, Seth Green, Donald Sutherland

A fun and unassuming caper flick that revisits the 1969 classic (which I haven't seen). A well planned heist in Venice is executed with skill to perfection, until a double-cross botches the getaway. One year later, Charlie (Mark Wahlberg) pulls together the old team with the addition of safe-cracker Stella (Charlize Theron) to get revenge for the betrayal. An elaborate plan is hatched which gets compromised along the way, leading to an all-out frenzied car chase through the streets of L.A. between three Mini Coopers, a couple of motorcycles, and a helicopter.

The action is light and enjoyable, although I would have preferred more of it and less witty banter. As it is, for an action film "The Italian Job" shows a lot of restraint and simply focuses on being attractive and entertaining. The cast is an enjoyable ensemble, with only Seth Green's super-geek character causing me to wince. Charlize Theron is absolutely lovely and has real action star potential. Very beautiful with an unflinching intensity - I would love to see her shooting a gun and beating people up. Jason Statham is also a welcome addition to the gang, and his conviction and rugged charm is highly appreciated. Well executed car chase scenes make this an enjoyable, although easily forgettable, distraction from the summer heat.