Tuesday, July 04, 2006
"The Italian Job" review
The Italian Job (2003)
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Writing credits Donna Powers
Mark Wahlberg.... Charlie Croker
Charlize Theron.... Stella Bridger
Donald Sutherland.... John Bridger
Jason Statham.... Handsome Rob
Seth Green.... Lyle
Mos Def.... Left Ear
Edward Norton.... Steve
There's a scene early on in this flick that has the camera panning over the L.A. landscape. It lingers for a sec on a billboard for the "Curb your Enthusiasm" TV show. That title captures the energy of this flat tire of a movie.
"The Italian Job" is the kind of movie Hollywood does really well. It's a slick, ensemble heist flick with chivalrous thieves to root for. Unfortunately it's also the kind of flick the audience has seen a hundred trillion times. The boredom was infectious because the cast acted like it was drifting into a coma.
Edward Norton was the worst offender. He also starred in "The Snore". Ooops. I mean "The Score". He is playing the exact same character in this flick minus the retarded guy disguise. Maybe he should have whipped that routine out. He needed something to jumpstart him. Wahlberg plays a thief who wants to rip-off Norton because Norton betrayed him. Wahlberg truly earns the title "Chief Blank Slate". Whether he was upset, sad, happy or angry, he gave the same facial expression: Blank stare. Stoic or constipated? I couldn't tell. Theron is the hot blond girl they rope into the gang in order to give it a hot blonde girl. She was also bereft of emotions. She said this was a "personal job" for her but she looked like she couldn't care less. "It's a safe, (Yawn) I can crack it, I can't wait to see the look on his...zzzz....." In fairness, there were some cool scenes during the final heist in L.A. But that's about it. There's one point in the movie where the thieves say this job is not about stealing the gold. It's not? What the heck is it about? Revenge? Then why not just kill Norton? Why go through this elaborate heist if it's not about the gold? Actually it is all about the gold but Hollywood needs to hold onto its myth of the noble thief. It would be hard for the audience to root for money grubbing lowlifes if the thieves didn't have some altruistic motive for stealing. See, they're like modern day Robin Hoods stealing from an even worse thief and whatever.
SCORE: 2 out of 4 blank slates stealing a bunch of gold that they don't really care about