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THE ITALIAN JOB

In the 1969 version of this crime caper, a crew of cockney blokes create a massive traffic jam in Torino and make off with three Mini-Coopers full of gold bullion. Here an American crew perform the same stunt in Los Angeles with souped-up "new Minis," but first they pull off a sleek boost in Venice to satisfy the requirement of the title. In between thereís a deadly double cross and a boatload of sexual tension between Mark Wahlberg and the lovely Charlize Theron. The original cast featured Michael Caine, Noël Coward, and funny man Benny Hill as a computer hacker. Wahlberg assumes the Caine role as Charlie Croker, the meticulous mastermind, and he has plenty of talented support in Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Donald Sutherland, and Seth Green (the latterís nerd may not match Hillís screwball standard, but he does maintain that he, not Shawn Fanning, invented Napster). Director F. Gary Gray (Set It Off and A Man Apart) gives the adventure a glossy, whiz-bang updating, but he canít solve Wahlberg's phlegmatic style. Safes drop through floors, sinkholes magically appear in downtown LA, and thereís an enthralling chase through the waterways of Venice: it all makes for a pleasing, if preposterous, spectacle. (104 minutes)

BY TOM MEEK

Issue Date: May 30 - June 5, 2003
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