The Bank Job (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/02/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 111 mins

Enjoyable, nicely acted and well written heist thriller that successfully weaves together a number of threads and speculates on a fascinating true story.

What's it all about?
The Bank Job is set in 1971 and stars Jason Statham as Terry, a mechanic with a family and a slightly dodgy past, who's recruited by an old friend (Saffron Burrows as Martine) to rob a bank's safety deposit boxes. However, Terry is unaware that Martine is working for government agent Everett (Richard Lintern), who's been tasked with retrieving blackmail evidence against a member of the Royal family from a box belonging to Michael X (Peter DeJersey), a troublesome Jamaican revolutionary.

Convinced that the job could work, Terry recruits a few of his friends (including Daniel Mays, Stephen Campbell Moore and James Faulkner) and the heist goes ahead. However, things quickly get complicated when it emerges that a Soho gangster (David Suchet) and a well-connected brothel madam (Sharon Maughan) also have incriminating evidence stashed in the vault.

The Good
The script, by screenwriting legends Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais, is based on a notorious true story that briefly made headlines and then promptly disappeared because of a government 'D' notice, gagging the press for 30 years. As such, the details of the case are genuinely fascinating and the script weaves together several different strands in an engaging fashion.

The acting is mostly decent, even if there's not that much depth to any of the characters. Statham is well cast and makes an engaging lead, though Saffron Burrows rather lets the side down with yet another painfully wooden performance.

The Bad
That said, there are a couple of dodgy moments, such as an unwelcome shift in tone towards the end, culminating in some unnecessarily nasty scenes. There's also an unintentionally amusing and completely gratuitous punch-up between Statham and a twice-his-size Craig Fairbrass that was presumably part of Statham's contract.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Bank Job is an enjoyable, well made heist thriller that sheds light on a fascinating true story. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 21/09/2018 00:07

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