“I” is for The Italian Job (2003)
know that some of you out there reading this will disagree wholeheartedly with my opinion here but I actually prefer the remake to the original. That is not to say that I don’t love the original, I just think there is a little bit more to the reworked version.
The take on the classic movie The Italian Job was released in 2003 – wow, is it as early as that, hasn’t the time flown? This all-star studded cast reads like a who’s who of the acting world and I think this film still holds up well today, In fact, I haven’t seen it for a while, I will have to get a hold of it and give it another whirl.
Now when it was announced that The Italian Job was to be remade, everyone said “oh no not a remake, how can they redo this film, it shouldn’t be touched, blah blah etc etc” I on the other hand was interested to see how they did it and when I saw it I was pleasantly surprised that the filmmakers didn’t just do a straight copy of the Michael Caine movie, they did put their own spin on it and its for this reason that i enjoy it so much. A scene for scene copy really would have been rubbish, but here, the story is a little more intricate and has a nice twist on it that i won’t spoil, but basically after Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) is left for dead following a job, he and his gang get together and decide to pull the mother of all gold heist to get their revenge.
I like a good heist movie. The Ocean’s films have been excellent and this is very similar, but it has the added bonus of the Italian Job theme running all the way through it, including the Minis which of course were also updated to the new versions. There are a few little nods to the original movie aswell, but I think what wins this film over for me is the cleverness of the final heist. The characters just make it work so well and just when you think it won’t work out, there is another twist that the gang have of course already thought of.
The cast is also tremendous. OK, Mark Wahlberg isn’t the greatest actor in the world, but he puts in a very good shift here and in addition to Charlize Theron, Mos Def, Donald Sutherland, Seth Green and Jason Statham and Edward Norton. There is a particular highlight in a scene involving Statham and Green and in fact there is a gag reel on the DVD featuring outtakes of that scene that is just hilarious. I would urge people to have a look at this movie with an open mind and don’t assume that because it is a remake, it won’t scrub up to the original, I beg to differ and I therefore put it in my list this month of films that should be watched.
Fun Fact: In interviews, Jason Statham said that in addition to the stunt driving course they all received, he got two days’ driving tuition from Damon Hill, the British ex-world champion Formula 1 driver. However, all the cast members acknowledged that Charlize Theron was easily the best driver among them.