You might be excused for wondering which film I’m talking about because “The English Job” is what the Poles decided to call it, “Angielska robota”. One has to assume they arrived at this title because the film is about a bank robbery and because it stars Jason Statham, who also appeared in the 2003 remake of “The Italian Job”. The correct title of the film is “The Bank Job” and so it should probably have been translated as “Bankowa robota”, although that may not make any sense at all and would certainly diminish the powers of the FART – Film Association for Ridiculous Translations.
Jason Statham is beginning to worry me, certainly the way everyone reacts to him is beginning to worry me. I mean, fair enough, when he played Bacon or Turkish in Lock Stock…. & Snatch he fitted the roles of over-exaggerated loveable cockney rogue perfectly in what were a couple of highly enjoyable piss-takes of what many people think London is or used to be like. Since then, he seems to have become the stereotypical “Londoner” to such a point that most audiences would be visiting the East End expecting to see jolly cockneys robbing banks and blowing people away with shotguns around every street corner. For someone who lived in London most of his life, this is more than a little bit silly. So, anyway, the guy is starting to annoy the hell out of me and I was rather hoping he’d branch out into romantic comedy or somesuch diversion. Trouble is that looking on IMDb, I see he’s got “The Sweeny” and “The Brazilian Job” yet to be released. Not a good sign!
Anyway, back to the film. It is actually quite an intriguing story if you combine the possibilities of the film with the few known real-life facts as well as all the speculation at the time. It is well acted and has some good dialog, not as sharp or witty as Guy Richie’s movies but as well written as one would expect from Clement and La Frenais.
Being a man who grew up in the same place and at the same time as this movie, I did have the added attraction of a nostalgia trip that other, younger kino-goers will not get. Overall, ignoring the Statham factor, I’d have to give it a 7.5/10 and judge it to be a worthwhile waste of 111 minutes of your life.