Clarkson the Italian Job
the years Top Gear has earned a loyal following for its combination of
enthusiasm for really fast cars, racing said cars and the amiable
chemistry between its three hosts. Jeremy Clarkson, James May and
Richard Hammond trade barbs and practical jokes like any great comedy
team and it is their presence that has made Top Gear essential viewing
for even those that know absolutely nothing about cars. Clarkson Ė The
Italian Job eschews much of the latter and focuses solely on Clarkson,
as he strives to get fit for a race he is taking part in. Of course this
fitness regime doesnít involve gruelling montages of him running up and
down stairs, but test driving a bunch of his favourite cars and getting
a trip to Italy out of it.
Clarkson starts by at least attempting his gym montage, making cracks
about various pieces of gym equipment that bemuse him. However after
this short trip it is down to business as he drives car after car,
comparing speeds and how much fun they are to drive. The Italian Job
falters here a little for non car enthusiasts. Clarkson is charismatic
enough to imbue what he is doing with his trademark humour, but it
doesnít really mask the fact that all he is doing is driving round an
empty race track over and over again. Previous Top Gear specialís have
included long road trips that break up the hardcore car stuff with funny
segments of the hosts bickering at each other, but as this is just a
Clarkson joint it is sorely lacking in that department. Thatís not to
say people wonít get anything out of it. People who know about
horsepower will get a huge kick out of the various cars Clarkson drives,
such as the Porsche GT3, ,LP570-4 Superleggera, Lamborghini Gallardo
Mercedes SLS AMG, the Ariel Atom V8 and the Zonda R, which sends
Clarkson into fits of joy when driving.
Clarkson certainly looks like he is having the time of his life,
essentially being given the keys to an adult males toybox, and bits and
pieces certainly are entertaining to watch. Witnessing Clarkson drive
the Ariel is a sight to behold, as the windshield-less car contorts his
face in ways that the face was not meant to be contorted. Likewise, the
Zonda R sends Clarkson into unbridled fits of happiness as he screams of
soiling himself with excitement. The rest though is all kind of similar,
and lacks the entertainment value to appeal to a wider audience.
last part of the DVD shows Clarkson entering the race, complete with
troublesome car that has to be fixed right at the last minute. Itís fun
to watch Clarkson joke about with the drivers and certainly interesting
to see how he does in the race. However once again itís not edge of the
seat sort of stuff, even though Clarkson is having the time of his life.
is a second disc, which shows the making of this special, which is once
again entertaining to a point. There is also a recap of car destruction,
which has been featured on other DVDís but is bought here into a nice
little package. The other feature is a stock standard photo gallery,
which is good for a quick look but offers nothing substantial. The
feature looks good, itís not really something that needs movie quality
transfer in sound and audio. It does the job and it does it well.
Overall, Clarkson fans will enjoy this DVD. It has him doing what he
does best, making sarcastic remarks, having the time of his life and
driving really fast cars. There isnít too much to recommend here for
casual viewers of Top Gear or people who arenít hardcore fans of cars.
Those people are best off sticking with their Top Gear DVDís or reruns.
However if you canít get enough Clarkson and cars, this DVD will offer
mindless distraction for a little while