The Italian Job F. Gary Gray

The Italian Job F. Gary Gray
Heist movies, which track a clever burglary from start to finish, are, in essence, minimalist explorations of a job well-done. Like A-Team's Hannibal, we love to watch a plan come together. But even more, we love it when a movie comes together, which this does not. A talented ensemble is usually an indicator of quality. But not even the combined acting chops of Donald Sutherland, Ed Norton and Seth Green are enough to keep this flick from pandering to the cheeseball crowd. The Italian Job is an "update" of the semi-classic Michael Caine original — a stylish, Mod-flavoured film from 1969 known for its use of the teeny-tiny Mini Cooper in the getaway scene. Naturally, they are re-used — albeit the new version BMW re-launched last year — but most everything else is made-up on the spot. Now, the core of any heist flick is the knowledge that they will successfully steal whatever it is they are looking for (unless, of course, the person trying to stop them is a bigger Hollywood star). Since the suspense is gone, it's up to the style, detail and characters to carry the show. But while the pair of gold heists are both well-choreographed, the only thief with personality is Jason Statham's Handsome Rob. Marky Mark's head thief is utterly uninspiring, Green's computer hacker makes lame Napster jokes and Charlize Theron tends towards melodrama. Meanwhile, Mos Def is so-so as the comic relief munitions expert and Norton plainly does not want to be here at all. Yes, the ending car chase is cool — especially since the actors do much of the driving themselves — but it's simply not a big enough payoff. Not surprisingly, the featurettes focusing on the cars are the go-to extras, while the "making of" is interesting for detailing how the film differed from its predecessor. But the deleted scenes are dull and even the "Easter egg" of Green improvising is not as funny as one might expect. Plus: TV spots, "Putting Words on the Page" featurette, stunts featurette, deleted scenes. (Paramount)