Bottom Line: Not that it should be passed on, but Ocean’s Eleven is a better choice if you want a good crime caper re-do.
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Edward Norton, Mark Wahlberg
An update of the 1969 crime caper of the same name, THE ITALIAN JOB is not completely gritty, intense, “blood and bore” like DIRTY HARRY; nor is it an absolute laugh-fest like OCEAN’S ELEVEN. Instead, it meets directly in the middle, with enough edge-of-your-sear thrills and recurring chuckles to make for an enjoyable film.
The soundtrack is easily recognizable, as it consists of popular songs of the ’70s and ’80s, such as Pink Floyd’s “Money” and Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker”. It would have certainly been a neat idea to set back the songs all the way to ’69, when the original was released, but unfortunately, that is never accomplished, so the musical setback is mostly pointless. On the contrary, there are some neat techno instrumentals we hear, amid those “oldies”, and those themes make much more sense.
Instead of Michael Caine, this remake stars Mark Wahlberg as Charlie Croker. Having not yet seen the 1969 version, I cannot speak my opinion on who portrays the character better; but I can say that It was quite enjoyable to see someone like Wahlberg in this role–and of all the cast members, he was the only one who delivered a truly solid performance.
Overall, THE ITALIAN JOB was, in a way, fairly decent. Without a doubt, it’s quite action-heavy, and it’s not an easy one to turn off, but as a crime caper remake, OCEAN’S ELEVEN is so much better.