An American remake of a British institution....
Whatever was to be expected - Mark MarkWahlberg screaming - "Goddamit,
you're only supposed to blow the damn doors off"?
Well, first things first. To call this a
'remake' would actually be doing both films a great disservice. To call
it a 'reimagining' a la Tim Burton's 'Planet Of The Apes' would be even
wider of the mark. To all intents and purposes 2003's 'Italian Job' is
nothing more than a brand new heist movie that's stolen it's title and
some characters (including the Minis!) from our own beloved Bank
The movie starts where it's predecessor left
off - in Italy. Our gang, led by Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) have
just pulled off an enormous gold bullion heist worth $35 million.
During the getaway one of the gang betrays his buddies, kills Charlie's
mentor (a nice cameo by Donald Sutherland), leaves the rest for dead
and makes off with the gold for himself. So within fifteen minutes, the
movie spirits the audience away to Los Angeles, twelve months later,
having nicely taken care of the 'Italian' part of the title.
Now the movie really begins as Charlie plots
his revenge on his nemesis (Edward Norton), he gets his old crew back
together, along with Charlize Theron as Donald Sutherland's daughter
(who handily happens to be an expert safe cracker) and they hatch a
plan to retrieve their stolen loot. Along the way, they pick up a few
plot devices from the old movie (such as the need to hack into the
city's traffic light computer system) and the movie races towards a
huge chase finale.
Now, once you get past the very British
reservation about the movie's title, what we have here is a perfectly
enjoyable popcorn flick. The characters are all vividly drawn and
larger than life, particularly Jason Statham in his first
real Hollywood role to make any impact on the box office. Along with
Mos Def's 'Left Ear' character, Statham's 'Handsome Rob' is one of the
most enjoyable factors in the entire movie.
leave your doubts at the door of the multiplex, you'll find a rather
passable way to spend a couple of hours - just don't think of
it as a remake and you'll be OK!