A crew of thieves steals $30 million in gold from a mobster in Italy. It's all very slick, pretty exciting, and over in the first 10 minutes of the movie. The new movie picks up when one member of the family-like-team steals the stolen gold, while committing an even more heinous act in the process. Now, Charlie (Mark Wahlberg), Stella (Charlize Theron), Left Ear (Mos Def of "Monsters Ball"), Handsome Rob (Jason Statham of "The Transporter") and Lyle (Seth Green) need to get their gold back, along with a little revenge. The film shifts location from Venice to Los Angeles and effectively becomes one big Mini-Cooper commercial. The Mini-Cooper is the newly designed little English auto known for being more car than it appears. They play a huge role in the movie and probably should have gotten third billing, certainly above Donald Sutherland, who is not in the movie very long. The insanely exploitative aspects of the film, including its unbelievably young and beautiful and cast, notwithstanding, one most pose the question: Does this film do what it sets out to do? The answer is, yes, it does. It intends to be a good-looking, high-energy, kinda-quirky thrill ride. It does not aspire to be anything else, and it isn't. One might say it won't be known for being more movie than it appears. It's only the movie it is. Which is okay. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Mos Def, Jason Statham, Seth Green and Edward Norton. Directed by F. Gary Gray. Written by Donna Powers & Wayne Powers. Produced by Donald De Line. A Paramount release. Action/Crime drama. Rated PG-13 for violence and some language. Running time: 104 min
The Italian Job
Very loosely based on the 1969 film of the same name, this version of that caper comedy tends toward the crime drama genre, though it still manages to cull a fair amount of humor from various sources while not slowing things down to tell too many jokes. What's the same is the heist, though achieved through infinitely more high-tech means here.