THE  ITALIAN  JOB    -  A  Narada Film Review

  CHARLIZE THERON as   
  Stella Bridger
     
   MARK WAHLBERG as   
   Charlie Croker
     
   DONALD SUTHERLAND as   
   John Bridger.
The Italian Job - 2003   -F Gary Gray-Director & Donald DeLine-Producer
    Viewed on 06 SEP 03    Have you ever noticed that, lately, Hollywood will churn out an "actioner" film where several mediocre actors share the lead roles?  This is called the " Magnificent Seven Dream ", where both Director and Producer hope some of John Sturges' magic will rub off on them, leaving them not only with a big box-office payday, but recognition from their peers as cinematic visionaries.  THE ITALIAN JOB is one of those films, however, neither Director F. Gary Gray nor Producer Donald DeLine would want to be holding their breath for either the big box-office bottom line or the praise of their fellow hucksters.
         Not content with mere mediocrity, Gray has attempted to perpetuate the Hollywood mythology of the "Good Bad Guy" - a favorite Tinsel Town theme since its popularization in the original Ocean's Eleven.   In THE ITALIAN JOB, Director Gray exceeds himself.  Not only do we have Good Bad Guys and Bad Bad Guys, but we even have the kindly, loveable master-thief, John Bridger espousing the philosophy of such : "There are two kinds of crooks in this world, the first kind allow their profession to define them..." ad nauseam.  But how do we tell Good Bad Guys from Bad Bad Guys?  Good Bad Guys are 'sensitive '90's guys', frequently asking each other, "Are you all right?" and other such "feel-your-pain" prattle.  You already knew that Bad Bad Guys are sarcastic and heartless, with thin Tijuana Taxicab Driver moustaches.  The blatant stereotyping got so bad it had me staring disbelievingly into my half-eaten bucket of popcorn.
        But let's just imagine for a moment that we are able to suspend disbelief and somehow transcend all the aforementioned moralistic and cinematic claptrap -- is there ANY reason whatsoever to see this film?   I'll cut to the chase: the only reason this film was reviewed at all is that in amongst all the chaff, two kernels of wheat shone, comparatively, like diamonds.  Both Donald Sutherland and Ed Norton staved off instant oblivion for THE ITALIAN JOB.  Both these real actors, of course, were given second billing - somewhere down the credit-scroll with the gaffers, caterers and accountants... I can say no more without bursting into tears.
        Enduring Line or Phrase:  ..don't trust the Devil inside them."
2003,    Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com      

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