Caper films got a
poke in the eye with the deplorable Confidence and The Good Thief earlier
this year. The Italian Job brings the genre back into respectability.
Unfortunately, this is another film thatís shot in the foot by the
people who created the trailer for it, which shows the audience the most
shocking moment of the film. Why
canít those promoting films have more confidence in the film theyíre
promoting and more respect for their audience and refrain from showing the
biggest moments in a trailer? Iím
not going to reveal this moment to protect those who want to see it without
having seen the trailer.
(Mark Wahlberg) is after Steve (Edward Norton) because Steve double-crossed
Charlie and his gang. The way
Charlie devises to get Steve is sheer fantasy that could only happen in the
movies. But, hey, this IS a movie!
So itís OK. The fun is
in watching Charlie reassemble his gang and get Stella Bridger (Charlize
Theron), the daughter of Charlieís mentor, John Bridger (Donald
Sutherland), to join them, find Steve, and bring him to his just reward.
Wahlberg is as understated as Norton is hateful.
I liked both performances.
Coming in at a workable
100 minutes, this is a film with no gratuitous violence, no profanity and no
sex, unless youíre like me for whom just looking at Charlize Theron
constitutes a sexual experience, and you get a lot of time to look at her.
of Venice, Italy, and Los Angeles is beautiful.
The car chase scenes, though exciting, are preposterous, as is the
ingenious plan finally devised by Charlie. But this is escapist fare that doesnít pretend to be
Shakespeare. For what it
purports to be, I found it entertaining. It passed the watch test with
flying colors, because I didn't look once.
June 1, 2003