Making the Grades
Despite what you might tell your children, crime does pay for Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) and his gang of thieves. They've just committed the perfect heist and made off with over 30 million dollars worth of Italian gold bullion. However, it comes with a cost. Their celebrations and spending plans are cut short when one of them turns out to be a double crosser. Holding his gun on the others, Steve Frezelli (Edward Norton) escapes with the loot and leaves the group's aging safecracker (Donald Sutherland) lying dead on the side of the road.
While lining their pockets may have been the primary motivation for stealing the bricks, Charlie, Handsome Rob (Jason Statham), Left Ear (Mos Def) and Lyle (Seth Green) have revenge on their minds when Steve is found living in sunny California. Operating under an assumed name in an exclusive Hollywood mansion, the two-timing traitor is slowly cashing in the booty and living out the fantasies of his former cohorts in crime.
Ready to pull off the second perfect heist, Charlie and the others go looking for a safecracker who's willing to help them take back their booty. The daughter of their dead colleague, Stella Bridger (Charlize Theron), works as a credible safecracking specialist with the police and security companies. Concerned about keeping her reputation, she initially refuses their invitation to sign up for the job. But the opportunity to avenge her father's murder and take a share of the bounty doesn't take long to grab her attention. Trading in her morals for money, she joins up to play her part in re-stealing the gold.
Unlike the early days of films, the good guys don't always wear white and in this case the good guys aren't necessarily good. Driving their reinforced MINIs through the transit tunnels and drainage system of LA, this film is well paced and filled with enough action to keep most adult viewers from checking their watches. Unfortunately, The Italian Job glamorizes crime and the people who commit it. Evading parole, hacking into computer systems, blowing up streets and carjacking are just a few of the offenses these bandits engage in without ever experiencing consequences.
Parents may also be concerned with the language content in the script. Although relying mostly on mild profanities, it does include a couple of crude hand gestures and the use of a sexual expletive.
While these yellow bricks may pave the way to happiness for these crooks, their path to success is one most parents would prefer their kids never set foot on.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Italian Job.
How do stereotypes play into the script to make some crooks in the film more appealing and likeable than others?
John Bridger says thievery can enrich your life or define it, but how did it affect his ability to be a good father? What were the consequences of his lifestyle when it came to his relationship with Stella?
Despite the mayhem caused by these thieves, are there any consequences for their actions? Does glamorizing crime in movies make it more acceptable or alluring to youth? What are the costs of crime that society pays?