Original: The Italian Job (1969)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Donald Sutherland, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def
Sad truth: Most younger ticket-buyers who know Michael Caine as Alfred in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series don’t have a clue about the revered British actor’s stellar history. Back in his heyday, Caine was quite the badass, and the 1969 car/heist flick The Italian Job represents the thespian in his young, charming, leading man groove.
Thus, director F. Gary Gray had a tall order in front of him when he signed on to update the film in 2003; instead of banking on one big name to anchor his own Italian Job, Gray assembled a stacked ensemble to carry the proverbial weight. And with Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, Mos Def (pre-Yasiin Bey), Charlize Theron, and Edward Norton all in fine form, The Italian Job is well-made, escapist fun.