The plan was flawless... the job was executed perfectly... the escape was clean. The only threat mastermind thief Charlie Croker nev er saw coming was from a member of his own crew. After pulling off a gold bullion heist from a heavily guarded palazzo in Venice, It aly, Charlie and his gang can't believe it when one of them turns out to be a double-crosser. Enter Stella, a beautiful safecracker, who joins Charlie and his former gang when they follow the backstabber to California, where they plan to re-steal the gold by tappi ng into Los Angeles' traffic control system and creating the biggest traffic jam in L.A. history. During which, they will use tiny Mini Cooper autos, to get away on the the LA sidewalks!
Though it bears little resemblance to the celebrated 1969 original
starring Michael Caine, this 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 honour and dishonour 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), Charlise Theron is recruited to double-cross a double-crosser (Edward Norton in oily villain mode), and once again, speedily versatile Mini Coopers (this time, the modern BMW versions) 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