I was given “The Italian Job” for my b’day. I am not a fan of car chase movies, I mean they haven’t made an original one since “The French Connection” and this movie had not only several long car chases, it has boat, helicopter and running chases too so I didn’t have high hopes. I like Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron and Marky Mark is ok sometimes so I figured I’d give it a try.
The original rocked. This one has such low character development the director, a former music vid wiz kid, what else, had to resort to lame flashback vignettes to establish their contrived characters. Each member got one 2 minute flash, that was it, then on to the chases.
The script was really lame. Absolutely zero plot. They work out an elaborate scheme, only to be thwarted because the neighbors are having a party. Come on, they can stop all the traffic lights in the entire city, but they can’t break up a houseparty?
Donald Sutherland is only in the movie for about 5 mins and then gratefully dies to get out of this turkey. Ed Norton plays the same character he did in that caper movie he did last year with DeNiro, and pulls the same double cross, and gets his comeuppance just like in that movie. ho hum. Marky Mark’s acting is on par iwth the intentionally hammy, doltish acting of his character Brock Landers in Boogie Nights.
This time I don’t think its intentional. Charlize just stands around and looks pretty, gets some headshots of her supposedly racing through the streets and she gets to punch a Ed Norton. There’s some other forgettable side-kicks according to the typical Hollywood setup, which was seen in its latest incarnation in Ocean’s Eleven: a munitions/explosives expert, a computer nerd, a tough guy ex-con, played by randomly, a black guy, an English guy, a nerdy guy. Usually the nerdy guy is the computer nerd but the others are interchangable. Ed Norton played the predictable traitor role.
As a twist in this one, Russians are good-guy bad-guys- they axe people to death, but since they are killing the enemy of our stars, they are good guys. Unlike old movies which demanded a moral outcome to the movies like crime doesn’t pay, this one basically works on the premise that Marky Mark and Co. stole the loot fair and square and Norton is the bad guy for double-crossing them out of their hard-stolen gold. They ride off into the sunset buying new cars, stereos, getting laid, etc. as reward for crimes well done. No cops are anywhere in sight in this movie, either during all the high speed chases or in pursuit of the original theft, but hey, we already had a large cast, no room for Tommy Lee Jones or Harrison Ford.
Shit movie showcasing the same tired chase stunts you’ve seen decades ago in old James Bond movies. Crappy acting, virtually no plot or character development and zero validity on the karmic movie scale i.e., if you commit violence or thievery, someone has to pay for it. On the plus side, there are about 30 shot edits a minute to disguise shitty directing.
I recently watched the commentary on Platoon, Paper Moon and The Man Who Wasn’t There, 3 very diverse movies, where great directors (none of whom got his start in videos) talk about the extremely long takes (5-10 minutes sometimes) with no cuts and what great acting and technical work it takes to get those pegged. The Italian Job probably has as many cuts as every Coen Brother movie put together. Kind of like distract the idiots with frenetic cuts so they wont notice our movie has no fucking soul.
I give it 20 stars out of my 1-1billion stars rating system. Good for a coaster or small frisbee.