Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland. One year after a master thief double-crossed his partners following a big heist, the surviving members reunite to avenge their fallen leader and even the score once and for all. A breakneck remake of the 1969 thriller. 2003/color/99 min/PG-13.
Though it bears little resemblance to the original 1969 thriller starring Michael Caine, the 2003 remake of The Italian Job
stands on its own as a caper comedy that's well above average. The title's a misnomer--this time it's actually a Los Angeles job--but the action's just as exciting as it propels a breezy tale of honor and dishonor among competing thieves. Inheriting Caine's role as ace heist-planner Charlie Croker, Mark Wahlberg plays straight-man to a well-cast team of accomplices, including Mos Def, Jason Statham, and scene-stealer Seth Green in a variation of the role originally played by Noel Coward. As the daughter of Croker's ill-fated mentor (Donald Sutherland), Charlize Theron is recruited to double-cross a double-crosser (Edward Norton in oily villain mode), and once again, speedily versatile Mini Coopers play a pivotal role in director F. Gary Gray's exhilarating car-chase climax. It's perhaps the greatest product placement in movie history, and just as fun the second time around. --Jeff Shannon