The Italian Job
The Italian Job (2003) – Originally written September 2003
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I’ve always viewed myself as quite a patriotic Englishman who adored Wembley (although Twickenham is a better ground), knows the first verse of “God Save The Queen” (which is all you need really. It’s such a slow anthem, someone would have to be mad to even consider attempting to sing the other two verses) and loves his Chippy as often as possible. I do however have one vice with regard to this patriotism. I’m not an enourmous fan of the original Italian Job. Don’t get me wrong, there are some classic lines in it, the ending is superb, and Michael Caine is a genius, but I know people who seem to adore it, whilst simultaneously never actually watching it. The original film is a slow moving piece of cinema which is actually very weak up until the final half hour. Anyway, I’m not supposed to be talking about the original, but the American’s views on how the film could be done.
So here am I, it’s Thursday night, I’ve just seen the film (and told a friend what he missed, but then he’s still being closed minded as it isn’t Michael Caine) and I’m trying to work out how good this film really is. Well let me tell you, it isn’t half bad.
The acting by certain people is wooden (Ed Norton is possibly the greatest actor of his generation, and he just walks through this without needing much effort at all. Perhaps his fee is the real robbery of this film as he sure as hell doesn’t try hard enough to earn it), the cars scenes are good but nothing special, and the ending is the corniest ending I’ve seen in a film for quite some time. Despite these though, the plot goes along well, theres a few hilarious jokes, and it’s just a good film to sit down and watch without thinking.
Truth be told, there are only three negative things I can say about this film. Firstly, it’s so blatantly a marketing ploy as the “Italian Job” name and occasional tribute are completely unnecessary. Secondly, I wish that in Britain they’d get rid of this stupid 12a certificate as I’m fed up with parents bringing noisey brats who blatantly don’t care about the film with them to watch it. Leave the kids at home with a babysitter or wait till video you infuriating people. Thirdly and finally, my remaining gripe about this film is that the final editors must have seen all the mistakes and thought “we might not make a fortune, but at least we’ll get onto that mistakes website”. There appear during the course of this movie, millions of little errors. At one point the camera shows a side on shot of the Holywood sign and the “h” and the “o” are back to front. I mean, who misses something like that when they’re editing a film! Then, in a restaurant scene, it’s hard to focus too much on the plot or on the acting, when Ed Norton’s moustache is so bent, that a black marker pen would have been more realistic.
So yeah, ultimately, if your an enourmous fan of the original, don’t be closed minded, go see this just for the experience as ultimately, it’s not as bad as it could be, but be warned, Ed Norton’s Moustache is so terrible, you’ll be laughing at it for days to come.