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*** Official "THE ITALIAN JOB" Review Thread (1 Viewer)

Stephen Orr

Mar 14, 1999
In another thread, someone complained that the Italian Job trailer gave away too much of the story. Fact is, it pretty much gives away the entire story. But guess what? It really doesn't matter, because The Italian Job is fun. That's the word -- fun. Even when you know exactly what's going to happen, you enjoy the ride getting there.

I saw the original Italian Job in the theater when I was a kid. The only thing the old and new films have in common is gold, traffic jams and little cars racing through tunnels. I always liked the last shot in the original film, with the gold on one end of the bus, the thieves providing the counterbalance on the other end.

As the new film opens, an aging safecracker(Donald Sutherland, in a very brief role) has teamed with his protege (Mark Wahlberg) for one last job in Venice -- hijacking a safe loaded with $35 million in gold bars. The heist goes off pretty much without a hitch, until one of the team members (Ed Norton, extremely hissable) double-crosses the whole team, leaving them all for dead, and making off with all the gold.

Story picks up one year later, as Wahlberg's character approached the safecracker's daughter (Charlize Theron), who is a master cracker in her own right, with a plan to steal back the gold from the man who killed her father.

Like I said, there's not a lot here that's not in the trailer, which the exception of a huge subplot concerning Norton and some other people he unknowingly crosses (which leads to a pretty nifty tie-up of loose ends).

I love a good caper, and watching everyone work together was terrific. The other team members are fun to watch. Seth Green is the computer wiz, Lyle, who claims to have created Napster, only to have it stolen by his college room mate. Jason Stathem is Handsome Rob, the wheel man, named for his abilities with the ladies. Mos Def is the explosives experts Left Ear, so named for a disability he received as a kid blowing up toilets. Late in the game comes Wrench, played by Franky G., a tinkerer who modifies the Mini Coopers that serve as the vehicles of choice for the final caper.

Other characters who contribute to the plot include extremely large tatooed Samoans, and the Russian mafia.

This is a good film to see with a crowd. The audience we saw it with laughed, applauded and cheered at all of the appropriate spots.

While I wouldn't pay a full evening ticket price for The Italian Job, I'd definitely see it at a matinee. Out of four stars, I'd give it a solid three. It's FUN!

Robert Crawford

Senior HTF Member
Dec 9, 1998
Real Name
This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Italian Job". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.


Gordon Elgart

Mar 16, 1999
We saw The Italian Job tonight. It was a sneak preview double feature with X-2. I was half expecting garbage, but what came out was extremely entertaining. Edward Norton and Mark Wahlberg were the two leads, and they were OK. But the supporting characters were all great characters and were given cool things to say and do. So Charlize Theron, Mos Def, Jason Statham and Seth Green owned the movie.

This movie was less remake than homage. It included red, white and blue mini-coopers, some of the same character names and stealing gold. Other than that, it was a completely different plot with different relationships between the characters, different locations and a much different ending. (Those who recall the ending of the British Italian Job would expect it to be different - Hollywood would never copy this ending) Everything about the movie was obvious, but it was still wholly entertaining. Cookie cutter entertainment is welcome when done well.

AJ Johnson

Stunt Coordinator
Jun 30, 1997
Real Name
I saw Italian Job last night also and enjoyed it a lot. The characters were very good, my favorites being the supporting characters played by Seth Green, Jason Statham and Mos Def. It's a very good action/heist movie sprinkled with comedy. It reminded me a lot of The Big Hit except they're thieves instead of hitmen. The musical score also had something to do with me enjoyin this movie a lot. I don't know who the composer was but he did a good job. One thing that bothered me is the trailer gave away so much of this movie.

Scott Weinberg

Senior HTF Member
Oct 3, 2000
Haven't done my full review yet, but I'm giving this one 4 our of 5 stars. A needless remake from my least favorite studio didn't have me all that excited - but I was wrong! Fun escapist flick across the board. Only Norton seems to be disinterested, and there's a BIG backstory behind that. ;)

As summertime counter-programming goes, it's a fun time. Could be this summer's Bourne.

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1999
Even if you know that the trailer gives away some of the plot points, the film is entertaining enough because it's sprinkled with characters with enough colorful quirks to get some humor out of their idiosyncrasies. Don't expect a tremendous amount of character motivations or character studies. All this film wants to do is explore the concept of payback and honor among thieves, and for the most part, it does it with plenty of style and pizazz.

I recommend it as a matinee, but it's a good (almost) 2 hour joyride at the movies.

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

Bill Cowmeadow

Second Unit
May 5, 1999
Just got back from an afternoon showing. As mentioned above, worth an afternoon matinee, and a good time to boot...

While I enjoyed the show, the sound track in the theater I attended had serious problems. Almost all the movie played out in mono through the center front, while occasionally resetting itself to full surround for about 30 seconds or so several times throughout the show. I would have asked for a refund, but it was a matinee and I didn't want to hassle with a manager about the quality control of the equipment in the venue.
The cinema is the Cinemark, Lancaster Ca. go see it somewhere else.


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