(2003) dir. F. Gary Gray
Many years ago, I was writing magazine and music reviews for a notable punk rock fanzine. Being a junior member of the staff, I was given a lot of cheap, unexciting music to review and was giving it my genuine personal criticism. The editor/publishers thought that I was being too harsh and moved me off of the music reviews, replacing me with someone more positive and less critical (I guess).
The reason that I bring this up is that lately, writing about the films that I have seen on DVD, I find that I am more and more just writing my personal reaction, since I am not finding the time to try and think up more interesting stuff to write about the films. And my reactions have been largely tepid to fairly critical. I’ve seen some decent films on DVD recently, but nothing that really excited me. I am beginning to feel that I am in a bit of a grouchy rut or something, reminding me of my demotion in the world of punk rock music.
Anyways, I bring this up because The Italian Job, while a decent PG-13 rated action-comedy, was also fairly soulless and forgettable. Perhaps these polished chase sequences and explosions played better on the big screen (as they almost always do). A film usually has to have a little bit more going for it to play well on a television.
The violence in the film, the killing, is all acted out by the film’s villain. The heroes of the film do not carry guns and keep the film to its PG-13 audience by keeping the blood flow and retribution to a minimum. This works both as a marketing device (more kids can go see a PG-13 film than an R-rated film) and also probably plays out an anti-violence undertone that probably appeals to some politically correct and pseudo-pacifist film producers.