The Italian Job (2003)

(In theaters, May 2003) Anyone looking for a light summer movie won’t be disappointed in this one. Anyone looking for anything more than that, however, will leave unsatisfied. On most accounts, it’s exactly what it tries to be: a decent heist picture, with some cleverness, a hint of sexiness, a car chase and unambiguous emotional stakes. Why am I being such a sourpuss then? Could be Edward Norton’s worst performance to date, an unremarkable turn as a meek villain with none of Norton’s usual flair. Could be Mark Wahlberg’s charisma-free performance as the bland leader of a bunch of operatives all far more interesting than he is. Could be Jason Statham’s reprise of his role in The Transporter with all of the grins and no further chance to shine. Could be that the only hot chick we’re stuck watching is the bland Charlize Theron. Could be that both the direction and the script simply do the job without any extra qualities. Could be that the action scenes are over almost as quickly as they begin. Could be the lengthy second act. Could be a whole lot of things, but the end result stays the same; a very ordinary picture that does not deviate from mere adequacy. Hey, it’s your time and your money…

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