The Italian Job

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Some movies have a great deal to say about the human condition. Some movies effectively dramatize important periods of human evolution or the interplay of human emotions. And some movies are fun. The Italian Job has nothing to do with the human condition, evolution, or even much to do with emotions. But it is fun. Lots of fun.

The movie follows a troupe of high-tech thieves as the rob a fortune in gold bars in Venice, Italy. The plot is intricate, ingenious, and fun. Realistic? Probably not, but who cares. Unfortunately, a double-cross ensues and the rest of the movie focuses on the "payback".

The real star of the movie is Mark Wahlberg as Charlie, the leader of the group, having recently taken this position from former leader Donald Sutherland. The rest of the troupe consists of Edward Norton, Seth Green (Dr. Evilís son), Jason Stratham (The Transporter), and an actor whose name I didnít catch. Charlize Theron joins the troupe. I wonít tell you which member of the troupe double-crosses the others (however, if youíve seen the previews, you already know).

Most of the film takes place in Los Angeles (where else?) as the troupe scouts out their former comrade to figure out how to steal back their stolen gold. Watching them scout and plan is a treat. Of course, the most fun is watching the troupe execute their plan. Of course not everything goes exactly as planned, and the resulting havoc is also great fun to watch.

The Italian Job is a superb example of a "heist" movie. It keeps the viewer intrigued wondering just exactly "how will they do that" or, as the viewer watches them doing something, asking "why are they doing that". Of course, all is answered in the end.

One last thing to note about The Italian Job. It is a very funny movie. Thatís not to say that it is a comedy; it isnít. It is simply a very funny drama.

I recommend The Italian Job for anyone willing to suspend their disbelief and interesting in a movie that is simple, summertime fun.

June 6, 2003