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The Italian Job

(2003)

A fabulous caper movie, with appealing characters, plot, stunts, twists and stunning photography.

The all-too-brief on-screen time of Donald Sutherland invades the story, and amusing references to the original film are also peppered throughout, such as the mini-coopers and the traffic-light interference, plus an apperance of Michael Caine on the wide-screen tv purchased by the oily baddie, .

The stunts were well-executed, and even the cameo roles and secondary characters were well-drawn, given some nice lines and actually helped draw the story along. I was taken with the way the gang's weaknesses as well as their strengths were acknowledged, while those weaknesses were not simple plot devices to prefigure failure.

Great performances are turned in by Wahlberg and the beautiful Charlize Theron, and their smoldering friendship only ignites after the story is wrapped up.

While this so-called re-make avoids any bound-to-founder attempt to copy the original, it also misses the masterstroke of the original, which was the cliff-hanger (literally) ending, which gave the story it's moral tone. The theives didn't necessarily get away with it... And this in the days before every film had a sequel (or several).

Extra special note: this film has no swearing in it. What a nice change! I still believed that the baddies were bad. Didn't need to be Joe Pesci to convince me - I think that's called acting, isn't it, Mr Pacino?


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