The Bank Job Review

by Ed Lau on April 9, 2008

The Bank Job, Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows

I love heist films, especially British heist films. Even though Danny Ocean and his merry men might have the box office edge on everyone else, no one makes a great heist film quite like the Brits. It really is all that fantastic slang like “bloody”, “wanker” and…well, the rest I don’t even understand but it really sounds great. I had to watch one of the best heist films of all time, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for the first time with the bloody subtitles on and I don’t think I know anyone on the planet that didn’t need them for Snatch…and not just for Brad Pitt’s gyppo-talk.

It’s no coincidence that all my favorite British crime dramas star Jason Statham in some capacity as he has turned into a real action star, taking over as sort of a British Bruce Willis…a real bad-ass but a nice guy at heart. He looks just as tough as Daniel Craig but might have emotions other than wanting to break people’s faces. He’s made a few stinkers like War but I still think he’s the prototypical action star for the next ten years, at least. Statham plays Terry, a garage owner who owes quite a bit of money to some shady looking dudes. We know he’s been mixed up in some bad stuff in the past but he’s trying to make a (reasonably) honest living and providing for his young family. However, the odds are against him and his business isn’t making enough to keep him ahead of the loan sharks.

The Bank Job, Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows

Terry comes across some information from Martine, an old friend who says that she knows about a bank that will be vulnerable for a short period of time…just long enough for them to steal everything in the vault. In reality, Martine is being set up for this by the British MI5, who are being blackmailed with compromising photos being kept in that vault by a pimp/drug dealer/militant by the name of Michael X. Terry and his makeshift gang don’t know it but they’re doing the government’s dirty work for them. And it really is dirty work. Remember this is the ’70s and there weren’t any ridiculous smokeless explosives built into watches or lasers that can cut through plutonium. This is done with a jackhammer and a torch…which hilariously shakes up a nearby fried chicken joint.

The Bank Job, Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows

The plot is full of twists and turns. Although there aren’t too many surprises anywhere, the story is very well done and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s filmed very well and there isn’t any wasted time, seeming shorter than the 1:51 run time. The plot line is well paced and there’s no serious boring lulls in the action. In fact, I could’ve used a bit more exposition in some places.

The Bank Job, Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows

Statham is exactly the sort of actor you’d want in this role but the rest of the cast keeps up well. The gorgeous Saffron Burrows plays Martine Love. There isn’t much depth to her character but she pulls it off well. Richard Lintern is great as a smug and snarky MI5 agent, Tim Everett. The events are based on a true story but I’m not sure how much of this is grounded in reality. Of course some characters such as Michael X are actual people, some of the rest might just be fiction…even though we don’t really know for sure. Regardless, you really can’t go wrong with a story involving spies, porn kings, crooked cops and a big haul of cash.

This is an incredibly enjoyable film and will fill the action void for the time being while we wait for some of the bigger films to hit theaters. You’ll thank yourself later for seeing this rather than some of the other crap like 21 or Vantage Point.

Verdict: 8.0 out of 10

in Entertainment

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tech Blog April 11, 2008 at 4:56 am

I went to see Vantage Point the other week and felt rather let down by it. Now I’m sort of dubious over other films, this one included. I will probably see it at some point after reading the review but not sure if I can bring myself to wasting another $10 at the cinema.

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watch bones April 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm

I was going to see this movie but i realized 21 was still out so i saw that instead. It was good but maybe the bank job woulda been a bit better =/

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