"The Bank Job"
Directed by Roger Donaldson.
Written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.
Starring Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Richard Lintern and Daniel
Release Year: 2008
Review Date: 4/21/08
With Meg out of town, I decided to catch a
late show last week...and, lucky me, I made a good choice out of a
random movie, because "The Bank Job" is Jason Statham's first
wall-to-wall good movie in quite a while.
In this retelling of a real life bank
robbery in 1971 London, a group of petty con men, thieves and
low-life villains consort to rob a local bank of its safe deposit
boxes, thanks to an inside tip from a woman named Martine (Saffron
Burrows), a former girlfriend of Terry Leather (Statham).
Getting a six-person crew together, Terry and his team plot to rob
this bank, not knowing that Martine got the bank tip from a man
named Tim (Richard Lintern), who works for MI-5...he wants an
outside group of criminals to rob the bank because one of the safe
deposit boxes has incriminating photos of a high-ranking government
officials, taken by Michael X (Peter de Jersey), a civil rights
criminal/activist who takes his act from Malcolm X back in the
States. Did I mention that Michael X is working closely with
one of the biggest porn kings in London?
Yep, one thing leads to another, and we've
got a whole bunch of double-crossing plotlines to deal with once the
gang robs the bank. The pacing and the humor of "The Bank Job"
are both surprisingly good; I almost can't believe now that the guy
that directed "Cocktail", "Species" and "Cadillac Man" did "The Bank
Job", because this is a great summer ride of a flick. Statham
is balanced well here by the other members of the robbery team, but
also by the fantastically British side characters who either deal in
murder, conspiracy, porn, or slim shadiness...I love movies like
this, with so many over-the-top British lines and period settings.
I didn't love the way the film gets violent
in its final half-hour; it's tough, mixing how things wrap up given
how the film started. I did like that there was great info on
what happened to some of the film's principles after the movie's
timeline ended, but what about some of the bank robbers? There
were a couple of other minor holes, but "The Bank Job" is still
quite solid throughout. Given the level of security that must
be evident in banks today, it's fun to watch how old-skool crooks
might do it if they have the resources. This one has been out
for almost two months, so if you want to catch up, you better hurry!
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard