Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Bank Job (2008)

Young Soldier (Cameron Anderson): [while being fitted for a jacket] A bit tight under the arms, don't you think?
Guy Singer (James Faulkner): Traditional fit, sir. One can't raise one's hands above one's head. It tends to inhibit any impulsive acts of surrender.

At a glance: Jason Statham’s powerful screen presence anchors this entertaining based-on-a-true-story bank caper, which is replete with a large number of interesting characters and a great 70s soundtrack.

Terry Leather (Jason Statham) is in the luxury car restoration business. He’s not adverse to spinning a few odometers backwards to make a buck, and the cut of his cloth places him as more of small time hood than a businessman. And business isn’t going too well, with local corrupt cops hassling him for owed money. When an old friend, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) offers him a chance at a big score – cleaning out the vault of safety deposit boxes at Lloyd’s Bank – he gather his mates and starts digging. Things don’t go so smoothly, with complications ensuing from various sources: good cops, bad cops, private security people, a porn king, the royal family and a black activist from Trinidad with a secret. There are plenty of characters, all beautifully real and fleshed out by the script and the direction of Roger Donaldson, and lots of plot threads, anchored always by the mesmerising voice and steel-cold glare of Statham. Loosely based on the London’s 1971 Baker Street robbery; many of the more unusual plot points in the film actually happened. A great 70s soundtrack helps to keep things moving. Rating: 3 of 4

"Whether the story is 'true' or not, it makes for a ripping good yarn..."
- Jim Lane (Sacramento News & Review)

"Unlike the many heist movies obsessed with high-tech gadgetry and beyond-human stunts, The Bank Job, in more ways than one, gets down and dirty."
- John Wirt (Advocate [Baton Rouge, LA])

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