Charlie's got a 'Job' to do. Having just left prison, he finds one of his friends has attempted a high risk job in Italy right under the nose of the Mafia. Charlie's friend doesn't get very far so Charlie takes over the 'Job'. Using three Mini Coopers, a couple of Jaguars and a bus, he hopes to bring Torino to a standstill, steal the Gold and escape. Written by
Andy Topham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BMC (British Motor Corporation), the owners of the Mini, refused to donate any cars to the film. The boss of Fiat Motors, offered to donate all the cars they needed, including Fiat 500s in place of the Minis. The director, however, decided that, as it was a very British film, it should be British Minis. Fiat's boss still donated scores of cars for filming, as well as the factory grounds, and even though the authorities refused to close the roads, the Italian Mafia stepped in, and shut whole sections of Turin down for filming, so the traffic jams in the film are real, as are people's actions during it. See more »
The opening drive during the credits sequence was clearly shot in the same rugged, lifeless landscape used for the final sequence with the bus. As the credits end, the camera cuts to Beckerman in the car, then when we cut to the exterior again, suddenly we are surrounded by greenery and a completely different landscape, as the car approaches the tunnel. See more »
I don't know where to begin with this movie. It's full of flaws and weaknesses. I can only barely give it a 6 because Michael Caine is cool, Benny Hill was funny (but pointlessly underused) and the heist and car chase were generally creative and exciting. It was vaguely amusing (and sometimes very funny) the way Caine kept shouting at his team, who really were like a bunch of kids, so immature and selfish. Caine's character's general attitude is so care-free, he has no doubts about who he is or what he does. It's just his thing: attractive women, stealing cars or money and getting into trouble.
But then we're left with the countless weaknesses. Some of the editing was very tacky. One bit with a woman complaining was sped up. It didn't work. Most of the comedy misses. Maybe you have to be British. Or live in the 60s. But then I've enjoyed comedy from all over the world, new and old, so it must just be weak. Caine was funnier in Golmember. Just before Caine's famous line about "the bloody doors", which was very funny for the 5 seconds of screen-time it took, the camera keeps zooming in as he counts down. It's completely unnecessary and very typical for the time. The music was also very dated. Actually pretty unpleasant to listen to, it adds nothing, almost anything else would have been better. The point is, it's not timeless or appropriate but is instead strongly attached to the time and place it was made. It was the latest fashion, a fad which now shows decades of age. This applies to multiple aspects of this film and many others.
One of the worst mistakes in chase scenes is where they have the camera moving in the opposite direction to the action, as if to create more speed or velocity. It's a terrible idea. It's been used in Transformers, Big Hero 6 and countless other movies. It always looks awful. The best way to capture speed or action is a smooth, loose, long shot that stays with the moving vehicles. You feel the air, the road, everything moving past. Or you hold the camera still and let them whiz past. No sudden movements. No rapid cuts. The camera should always be roughly from someone's point of view. Trust me. Movies which have far better chase scenes include: Nolan's Batman trilogy, the Indiana Jones trilogy, Bullitt, the Star Wars movies (yes, all of them), the first two Terminator movies, most James Bond movies and most Pixar movies. The list goes on. This isn't an exaggeration.
The chase here is fun but only mildly so. We don't see the natural flow from one place to another, there's no meaningful sequence, no build- up in tension, no anticipation or exhilaration. Just a random series of stunts. It could be shown in any order and make the same amount of sense. They seem to be getting followed by only one police car at a time. Their tricks are gimmicky and predictable and nothing more than gags. There is sense of danger or risk. Plus, they're dicks. They cause so much destruction and they don't deserve the money. They're not underdogs, just idiots.
The cliff hanger ending is cringe-worthy. It's frustrating, not funny. This movie has no morals, no heart. That would be fine if it was hilarious and action-packed. But it is neither. It's tepid. It's like a soft drink that's gone flat. The characters are stupid and arbitrarily succeed or fail based on what the script decides.
The Italian Job glorifies theft. These guys are jerks. They're not likable. Ocean's Eleven (2001) was also overrated. It had mild comedy and a convenient heist made possible through the magic of movies, not logic. It placed all its bets on its coolness, of which it had very little. A classic flaw in circular logic - "being cool" doesn't make you cool. This movie is very similar, overly confident and cocky but with little work or detail or depth put into it.
They discuss their plans seemingly in public, in front of so many other people. There are no twists or betrayals. This seems highly unrealistic. With that many people, how does the information not leak? The mafia seem completely unnecessary in the movie. Many parts of the movie were difficult to follow. One character gets cheered in jail. So they knew he was behind the crime? Why do they care? Is it a rebellious act against rich people who we all apparently hate? When they get the minis into the bus, why do they keep the bus moving? Stopping would get them all on in seconds after which they can drive as fast as they want.
If you watch this movie, have low expectations. This is not a clever crime thriller. Think of it as a silly, immature movie that's trying to be funny which has some nice stunt and chase parts. Maybe it'll help if you're drunk or haven't seen a good movie before.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?