The Italian Job is the 2003 action/heist movie we are recasting this week. This fairly successful film co-stars an uninspired Mark Wahlberg and an incredibly flat Charlize Theron. Luckily, there are some really fun performances by the auxiliary roles played by Seth Green, Jason Statham, Yasiin Bey (f/k/a Mos Def), and an always welcome, somewhat whimsical Donald Sutherland.
We also have Edward Norton in his first notable villain role (which is a mixed bag). One of the reasons for his marginal performance is that he never wanted to be in the movie in the first place. He was fulfilling the obligation of a three year deal he had with Paramount, but he kept dismissing scripts until they forced him to finally do one, and this ended up being the lucky film. He openly clashed with the filmmakers and was not exactly shy about his disdain for the project. This would go far to explain the complete lack of chemistry that he has with anybody else on the cast.
This movie does have some really nice stunt work, and most of the stunt driving was done by the actors themselves. The set for the metro tunnel was so big that they couldn’t fit it on a single soundstage in LA and needed to be created in a giant hangar.
During the pod, we talk about stunt driving in movies and Mike nearly needed resuscitation after a particularly intense giggle fit. We also wondered why this movie never got a sequel. It made over $100 mil, but that was apparently not good enough for the studio, because the proposed script for the sequel “The Brazilian Job” got reworked and eventually became Fast Five.