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THE ITALIAN JOB, 2003
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THE ITALIAN JOB,   MOVIE POSTERTHE ITALIAN JOB, 2003
Movie Reviews

Directed by F Gary Gray
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Mos Def, Seth Green & Jason Statham With Donald Sutherland
Review by Brian Last


SYNOPSIS:

A list director F Gary Gray teams up with an all star cast to re make the original British caper film. Wahlberg had the uneasy task of filling the shoes previously worn by Michael Caine as the lead Charlie Croker. With remakes things will change; like character names, plots but the biggest change especially with heist films the technology gets ramped up tenfold. Before we dive in too deep, letís meet the team; Charlie Leader and mastermind), Handsome Rob (wheel man), Steve (public relations)Lyle (computers and software) & Left ear ( demolitions & explosives). Now that weíre all acquainted, letís go to work.

The Film opens with John Bridger ( Sutherland) in a jewelry store in Venice , after making a sizable purchase he phones his daughter Stella (Theron) as a bit of a pre job ritual. With the team in place they meticulously place a few small explosives in an apartment containing a safe worth $30 million in gold. The safe falls through the floors and right into their hands, through a quiet export of the gold and a noisy decoy, they get off Scott free and $30 Million richer. After the heist of a life time, they take a moment to celebrate, and in that instant they are double crossed and left for dead except for Bridger who is actually shot and murdered.

A Year later Stella is a pro safe cracker for the Philadelphia police department, and the team is back together. They track down their ex partner and decide to get their revenge by taking their gold back. To do so they have to execute an even bigger heist than the one that got them the gold in the first place.

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REVIEW:

The main downfall of action/heist films is they focus too much on the entertainment, and donít focus on the plot or intellectual half of the film. So things go unexplained and just come off like it was thrown in for no reason and it takes away from the credibility of the film. With the Italian Job it was the opposite, there are two major action sequences at the beginning and the end. The rest of the time is spent on character development, story progression and execution of the heist. As if they were pulling off this job in real life and they had all their bases covered so nothing was left to chance. This is a tremendous credit to the writers who wrote 18 drafts and put a few years into the project. And yeah, the chase down Hollywood boulevard is a touch far fetched but it is of course an action film , and they spend the whole film keeping it grounded and realistic, so they get a pass and can take a few liberties. I thought the action sequences were shot beautifully, and Gray really knew what he wanted to shoot. He moved the camera very well and got great coverage. Even the action sequences (which are normally senseless action and blowing up stuff for no reason) were we crafted with an intelligent angle. All of the moves were justified and not something stupid and out of nowhere. I also give them a lot of respect for a lack of CG in the action sequences; it is always good to see practical effects executed

I also thought this was the perfect cast; they were all very likeable and had great chemistry. Some of the funniest scenes were with Statham, Green and Mos Def. The film was very light hearted and didnít take itself too seriously, which allowed for such great comedic situations and ongoing jokes.

The film was a critical and commercial success; grossing $ 176 million with a $62 million budget it doubled that and then some. It averaged a 6.9/10 on IMDB and 73% on rotten tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave it ĺ stars. It gained a pretty good score card amongst fans and critics alike. There has even been a sequel in the works for years. ďThe Brazilian Jobí has been in the works since 2004 but has been delayed but all of the cast and Gray would like to return itís just a matter of the perfect script and scheduling.

I really liked this film, it is one of the better summer block busterís out there and a great re make. It gave credit to the original and didnít try to re make it completely, more to pay homage and I respect them for that.

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