September 01, 2005

Gratuitous Llama Netflix Virgin Movie Review #2*

*Dedicated to the inauguration of my Netflix account with movies I've never seen before.

Italian Job.jpg

The Italian Job

I have this vision of the pitch made for this film - "It'll be just like Ocean's Eleven! Except with car chases and people shooting each other!" However, having said that, I thought it was fun popcorn fare, pretty slick and at times quite clever. And at last I understand the whole Cooper Mini thing.

I've only ever seen Mark Wahlberg in one or two other films, including a certain utterly regretable disaster [Ed. - except for the really hot feral babe, of course.] He's certainly got a screen presence, but somebody needs to tell him that acting consists of more than brooding about, asking What Would Matt Damon Do? Edward Norton is, in my mind, one of the truly good young actors coming up. Frankly, I thought he was rather thrown away here as the double-crossing villain. I don't have anything to say about Charlize Theron one way or the other. But damme if Donald Sutherland isn't reaching a Kevin Bacon-esque level of ubiquity.

One thing that annoyed me about the film - I believe the whole concept and character of "Handsome Rob" was ripped off from Perfect Tommy. (The cool kids out there know exactly what I'm talking about.) There oughta be a law. Besides, there ain't room for the two of us in this here town.

VERDICT: Will I rent it again? Probably not. Overall, though, it was worth it. And now I'm quite curious to see the Michael Caine original. BTW, I notice that a sequel is in the works.

UPDATE: Lawren K. is reporting that Charlize is going to appear in this season's Arrested Development opposite Jason Bateman. I still don't care that much about her, but now I'm all excited again for the return of one of the best shows on tee vee.

Posted by Robert at September 1, 2005 09:05 AM | TrackBack

I liked Seth Green's character ("Napster")especially. It was a clever flick.

I thought the ending a little too dark, though -- turning Norton's character over to the Russian to be tortured to death seemed a little bit over the top for me. But that's a minor criticism; I enjoyed the film.

You've got Wahlberg pegged -- he's the guy they send the script to when they can't get Matt Damon. Which means that yeah, he'll get work, but he's not going to have the future career arc of Harrison Ford circa 1977.

Posted by: The Colossus at September 1, 2005 09:37 AM

Wahlberg is in one of my favorite sleeper flicks "The Big Hit" where he is a hit man fraught with angst and hounded by his mother. REALLY funny...

Posted by: LB buddy at September 1, 2005 10:14 AM

The original's fun. Don't waste too much time waiting to see it.

Posted by: Brian B at September 1, 2005 10:39 AM

Definitely see the original. Michael Caine in vintage form. Actual Italian mafioso. It's all good.

Posted by: Chris at September 1, 2005 02:18 PM

Didn't like it. I just couldn't get past the ENORMOUS product placement for the Mini Cooper.

Posted by: Gordon at September 2, 2005 11:24 PM
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