John Bridger's gang of thieves are double crossed and left for dead after a daring gold raid in Venice. The surviving members regroup and convene in L.A. to enact revenge and recapture their gold … the job is on!
This could have been a complete disaster, I'm British and the wave of revulsion that boomed in my homeland upon hearing of this remake was explosive; "how dare they remake a British institution" was the cry. Things were not helped in the run up to the film's release by main star (and draw card) Edward Norton, proclaiming that the film was a contractual obligation and that fans of his work would be better advised to give The Italian Job a miss...
Had to be a stinker then surely? Actually no it isn't. Director F. Gary Gray hasn't remade the "Italian Job" of 1969, in fact he hasn't even re-imaged it, the minis are in there, the gold is in there, but all the stand out moments so beloved by many in the 69 film of the same name are not to be seen at all. So what we get is a very cool heist-come revenge movie, that's maybe a tad too glossy at times, but it has got a pretty sharp script, tight action sequences and a group of actors working very well as a team. Mark Wahlberg, Mos Def, Jason Statham, Seth Green and the delectably delicious Charlize Theron all come out smelling of roses, whilst Edward Norton really had no cause for concern because his portrayal as Steve is a smarmy delight.
I have jokingly titled this film "Ocean's 5", but that is in no way detrimental to "The Italian Job", it lacks the jazzy coolness of "Soderbergh's Ocean's 11", but it's a fun and enjoyable picture all in its own right, thus the rating of just under 7 IMDb is actually spot on. 7/10