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The Italian Job | review | dvd | Lollipop

The Italian Job

by Chad Van Wagner

Nothing angers a movie geek faster nowadays than remaking a classic. Although, it should be mentioned, the original The Italian Job wasn't exactly a classic. A fine heist film, to be sure, but it seems to be known for its fleet of Minis more than anything else.

This didn't stop the howls of protest, however. Which is more proof that the self-appointed tastemakers are just as full of it as anyone, because the 2003 remake is a perfectly fine action flick. Granted, the plot points are about as telegraphed as you're likely to find anywhere, and the ending doesn't exactly buck any trends, but they don't have to. Mark Wahlberg (somehow making the viewer forget about the cowflop Dreamcatcher) is no Michael Caine, but he's convincing enough as Charlie Croker, the mastermind behind getting back at a slimy ex-partner (a slumming Edward Norton, who is the film's only real serious flaw). Jason Statham essentially plays a less stoic version of his character in the utterly stupendous The Transporter, Seth Green stars as "The Real Napster" (heh), and Charlize Theron is hot. Nothing particularly challenging, but in a month of unmitigated pap, it sticks out like a sore thumb. And hey, it's still better than The Matrix Reloaded.

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