Friday, June 20, 2003

The Italian Job is a summer action blockbuster with better-than-average stunts and dumber-than-average dialogue. I think the lines here are some of the saddest I've heard in a movie since Gone in Sixty Seconds -- lots of elbow-in-the-ribs yuks that seem to be geared to an audience full of Barts and Homers. This Homer -- accompanied by the closest thing I have to a Bart, my daughter Kate -- thought that on the plus side it "pulsed with action," as an adman might put it, and that even at its most frequently implausible it was fairly entertaining. And it has Charlize Theron, who is riveting even when she's just waking up answering the phone. Mark Wahlberg and Ed Norton are there for the dough (and, in Norton's case, a forced contractual obligation); like the scriptwriter, they are careful not to deliver anything more than is required.

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