The Italian Job

2003. Directed by F. Gary Gray.

THE SHOT: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch steal and re-steal a whole bunch of gold.

TONE: Slick, professional, consummately executed, two thrilling heist sequences and a better script than I remember it being.

It does a much better job of being a remake than, say, Welcome to Collinwood.  Instead of being a remake of the original, it borrows a couple of key concepts from the original and is otherwise is a completely different movie with its own visual scheme, character dynamics and philosophy.  And it certainly stands on its own as a picture.

And yet there’s something a little dispassionate, a little impersonal about this movie.  The cast is an amazing one, everyone in it has done extraordinary work elsewhere, but for whatever reason I don’t get wrapped up in their stories.

DOES CRIME PAY? (SPOILER WARNING) An excellent example of what we’ve been talking about.  They “get the gold” on page 10, and it’s unclear whose it is.  So that’s okay, because who cares?  It’s found money.  But then, Ed Norton steals it, and he’s hateful (his moustache tells us so), so it’s perfectly okay for Mark to steal it from Ed.  In the original there’s the Mafia, who intrude on the job and become a force to be reckoned with; the remake, the Urkrainian mob intrudes and Mark makes nice with them and gives them a cut.  Everything very polite.  And the villain is even given a comic sendoff.
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4 Responses to “The Italian Job”
  1. urbaniak says:

    Has anyone mentioned “Set it Off” The Jada Pinkett/Queen Latifah/Viveca Fox bank heist movie that F. Gary Gray made in ’96?