The Italian Job is an extended play car commercial for the Mini Cooper. It's also a very fun car commercial because the chase scenes are so well done and the director never tries to convince you that you're doing anything other than watching beautiful people (Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg) be smooth criminals. If I didn't know better, I'd think that being a high tech heist theif is the easiest, slickest, most glamorous way to make 36 million dollars. At the very least, the producer makes me want to own a Mini just so that I can drive it on L tracks, through homes and into train cars. It's not like there are any cops that get in your way when you're pulling off these stunts, this is the movies, right?
I enjoyed The Italian Job much in the same way I enjoyed X-Men 2. Neither film takes itself seriously and we're given plenty of eye candy and a nice assortment of super heroes to entertain us. The characters in The Italian Job are like the mutants in a sense. They each have a talent for the job that they are freakishly good at. The usual array of heist roles is present: safecracker (Charlize Theron), demolitions man (Mos Def), vehicles (Jason Statham as "Handsome" Rob), hacker (Seth Green as comic relief explaining why he is The Napster), and smooth leader (Marky Mark).
This is the second criminal-as-good-guy movie I've seen recently, the other being Confidence. I've already forgotten pretty much all of Confidence, but then that was missing the Mini Coopers.
(Geek footnote: At one point in the movie, Edward Norton tells Charlize Theron that he paid some guy 30 grand to set up the network in his home. Sitting on top of Norton's file cabinet is a Linksys router, the very same that Best Buy will sell you for 90 bucks. Oh, to be a consultant)