First time I’d ever really given this title a second look was as the result of reading another review. She did such an excellent job of reviewing the film that when I found The Italian Job (2003) in the “bargain bin,” I bought a copy. After all, I love a good mystery.
The Italian Job (2003) Film Review
One last heist. That’s all this job is supposed to be, and then, John Bridger is out of the game. Now all he wants is to be sure his crew is in good hands so he give his second in command, the guy who is like a son to him, Charlie (Mark Wahlberg) the lead. There’s a plan in place, down to the last minute, and in theory, everything should be fine in a 35-million dollar payoff. The plan goes off without a hitch but en route to their destination, the team is ambushed by men armed with machine guns; an ambush that one (Edward Norton) of their own plans. Leaving everyone for dead, Steve walks away with the take.
Stella (Charlize Theron) is an expert safe cracker. Everyone in the field knows it. It’s also the reason government agencies call on her professional skills when they need a safe opened. In the year following the death of her father, Stella focuses on her work and isn’t happy to see Charlie Croker walk back into her life. Charlie and the gang have found Steve. Now, to complete their plan, all they need is an expert safe cracker, and they need Stella.
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Based off the 1969 film with the same title, I honestly don’t know how this one slipped past my notice. Good mysteries are popular at my house so it comes as no surprise that this one is now a favorite. It has class, wit and a great cast. Best of us the movie throws a curveball or two but it never pretends to be more clever than it is; it knows its limits and caters to those. Mostly it’s a summer flick that’s perfect for anyone who wants a bit of fluffy entertainment. In short, it provides a way fun form of escapism from whatever task we should be doing.
Just one of the reasons I love this movie is the edge-of-your-seat feel without falling into the trap of the “big thriller” genre. It’s suspenseful but not with cheap gimmicks, instead it’s clever. The methods of the heist plan is outside-the-box thinking and I love what it results in. Only thing I wish is that we could see it rather than it being merely an idea. This brings me to the characters. I love each of them. There’s Stella’s smart sass as she zips around in her little red Mini Cooper. Charlie’s protective nature impossible not to like (this also allows for a more wholesome relationship), and each of the supporting characters are lots (and lots) of fun. These characters are anything but dull. The cast is an impressive gathering of talent, too.
Like I keep repeating, the direction and script have style; the last fifteen minutes in particular is great fun. We get caught up in the chase and adrenaline rush which transitions nicely into a great ending. Each of the settings is equally fabulous while the banter keeps things light and the story moving along. It may not be an “epic” film in its genre, but The Italian Job (2003) has a lot going for it. This is one ‘job’ you may want to sign up for – it’s a five star fun fest.
Content: the film has some stronger profanity including a single use of the f-word and a crude gesture. One man sleeps with a woman in order to gain access to her company car keys [all the camera shows is them lying in bed, clothed]; there is some flirting and suggestive innuendoes, there is a joke about a stereo so loud, it will blow a woman’s “clothes off” [Stella dresses immodestly]. There’s some violence including guns, and another man is given to the Russian mafia. A van goes into a body of water with passengers and a spray of bullets after it. There is a potentially “tense” car chase nearer the climax. The film is PG-13.