Mark Wahlberg Takes The Lead In A Fast-Paced Remake Available On Netflix

Mark Wahlberg's The Italian Job is streaming on Netflix.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

It’s fair to say that Mark Wahlberg has had a very storied career. Rather than being typecast into one type of film or another, Wahlberg has starred in everything from weird comedies like Ted to strange action films like Transformers: The Last Knight and even surreal comedies such as I Heart Huckabees (a personal favorite of ours). But one of his absolute best films is the 2003 remake The Italian Job, and you can now see what the hype is about by streaming the film on Netflix.

One of the things we love best about The Italian Job is that it illustrates how many options Hollywood has when it comes to remaking older movies in innovative ways. For example, this movie has the same name as the original 1969 film it is based on, and the two movies share some of the same characters. But the more recent Mark Wahlberg film also introduces new characters, tweaks a few familiar characters, and provides an entirely new story, meaning that fans of the original movie can still be surprised and excited as the plot unfolds.

What is the plot about, though? In this film, Mark Wahlberg leads a team of master thieves who set out to get revenge on someone who betrayed them, killed one of their own, and made off with $35 million in gold. And while Walhberg is mostly playing the one role he knows how to play (himself, of course), the movie is anchored by an awesome cast of entertainers.

In addition to Mark Wahlberg, The Italian Job features Charlize Theron as an expert safe cracker who has real skin in this game after a former partner kills her father (played by the always excellent Donald Sutherland). Edward Norton plays the villainous former partner the team must track down, and Jason Statham plays the charming wheelman who gets the team where they need to go in speed and style.

Rounding out the cast is Seth Green, whose understated performance provides many great comedy beats (we particularly enjoyed his character’s outlandish claim that he was the one who invented Napster, the old-school service for sharing music with others).

Thanks to the exciting direction from F. Gary Gray and tight script from Donna and Wayne Powers, this Mark Wahlberg film ended up wowing critics and audiences alike when it was first released. The film currently has a 72 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as an audience rating of 80 percent. The movie made so much of an impact that it received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film, only losing out to Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (a tough call, but probably a fair one).

At the box office, this Mark Wahlberg film brought in a worldwide total of $176.1 million. That may not seem like much in our modern world of billion-dollar Marvel blockbusters, but the movie was Paramount’s highest-earning film of 2003. And keep in mind that the film was made for only $60 million, so Paramount was understandably pleased that the movie ended up bringing in nearly three times as much as it cost to make.

In fact, the film was so successful that Paramount came very close to bringing Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, and more back for another onscreen adventure. Shortly after The Italian Job came back, the studio began working on a sequel called The Brazilian Job, but that original script was never finalized. Since then, multiple scripts have been written by multiple writers and Walhberg himself claimed in 2010 that the studio was actively working on the sequel, but after nearly a decade and a half of radio silence on the matter, we’re more likely to get a remake of the remake than we are to get a sequel.

Rather than focus on regrets, though, we’d rather focus on the fact that we can now stream the 2003 The Italian Job on Netflix whenever we want to. In addition to seeing Mark Walhberg and the rest of the killer cast, we really love watching the lush scenes that were shot on location in Venice. Ultimately, this is a film that combines stunning vistas, ambitious heists, thrilling car chases, and hilarious quips in a way that guarantees you’ll have a big smile on your face from beginning to end.