It’s (Not) All About the Benjamins – The Bank Job Review

The Bank Job – Starring Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows and Stephen Campbell Moore. Directed by Roger Donaldson. Rated MA for strong coarse language and sexual references. 112 mins.

As mentioned in the first few moments of the film, The Bank Job is based on a true story. How much of the movie is based on fact, and how much is based on rumour is difficult to say. Man alive, I hope it’s all true. Although the title of the film implies your standard heist-caper, The Bank Job is anything but. When the crims walk away with their bags of money (and much more) only an hour into the film, you know something is up. And then the fun begins.

Based on the 1971 Baker Street Robbery, the film takes a speculative look at the events that preceded and followed what should have been a simple job. Jason Statham plays Terry Leather, a former crim struggling to go straight. An old friend, Martine Love (Burrows), turns up with information regarding the Lloyds Bank vault, and the possibility of leaving London (and his debts) behind. At first Terry is suspicious, but he nonetheless rounds up the old crew for one last job. He really should have trusted his first instincts.

Martine is actually under the thumb of MI5, who are using her to contact local villains. You see, within the vault is a safe-deposit box containing very naughty photographs starring a member of the royal family. They don’t want to get their hands dirty, so in walks Terry and his unsuspecting crew. For those of you worried about me giving away the films secrets, it’s OK. Everything i’ve mentioned is revealed in the first 15 minutes. The film doesn’t exactly twist and turn like most heist movies. Instead, we watch as the criminals find out the truth, and in the final 40 minutes of the film, see their best laid plans unravel. I will say, that a lot of people’s hands get dirty.

Jason Statham is, as always, awesome in this film. He has become one of the most appealing action leads of the last few years. For those who don’t appreciate his more low-brow efforts such as Crank and The Transporter, this is an intelligent vehicle that allows him to show off his talents, other than kicking people in the face. Director Roger Donaldson does a pretty good job of keeping the film moving at a cracking pace. He wrangles the continually sprawling (but very talented) supporting cast well, and balances the drama and comedy effectively (although there is far less comedy than is implied by the trailer).

Apparently, there was a ‘deep-throat’-esque advisor that helped in the making of this film, only fuelling the possibility that the events depicted here are indeed fact. Although I mentioned at the start of the review that I hope that is the case, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. The film stands up on its own as good entertainment, and has enough intelligence, violence and nudity to rise above more conventional (read: boring) heist films. And, just briefly, you get to see Jason Statham kick someone in the head. The Bank Job delivers much more than it’s title claims. Let’s just hope the royal family don’t see it.

3.5 stars.

4 Responses to “It’s (Not) All About the Benjamins – The Bank Job Review”

  1. Sounds good… I’ll be keen to check it out.I saw Wanted last night – any chance of you giving that one the Simon-Treatment and delivering on a review?

  2. To all the ladies… Jason doesn’t get half naked in The Bank Job… I know I know…. boooooooo.BUT wait he does in his new film, Death Race, yippeeee

  3. At the end of the movie, there’s a disclaimer that names have been changed to protect the guilty. In that case, maybe the royal family member with the naughty pics was not Princess Margaret after all. And if she’s innocent, I guess she won’t that all that happy they picked her to be the fall guy!

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