Inspired by the infamous 1971 robbery that took place at the Lloyds Bank in Marylebone London, THE BANK JOB stars Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows. The highly-charged heist thriller tautly interweaves high-level corruption, murder and sexual scandal in 1970s England. A car dealer with a dodgy past and new family, Terry (Statham) has always avoided major-league scams. But when Martine (Burrows), a beautiful model from his old neighborhood, offers him a lead on a foolproof bank hit on London’s Baker Street, Terry recognizes the opportunity of a lifetime. Martine targets a roomful of safe deposit boxes worth millions in cash and jewelry. But Terry and his crew don’t realize the boxes also contain a treasure trove of dirty secrets – secrets that will thrust them into a deadly web of corruption and illicit scandal that spans London’s criminal underworld, the highest echelons of the British government, and the Royal Family itself…the true story of a heist gone wrong…in all the right ways.
A cheerful, energetic, and completely entertaining movie, The Bank Job follows some small-time hoods who think they’ve lucked into a big-time opportunity when they learn a bank’s security system will be temporarily suspended–little suspecting that they’re being manipulated by government agents for their own ends. The result is that the movie doubles its pleasures: While the robbery itself has the usual suspense of a heist film, when the robbery is over the hoods find themselves being hunted by the police, the government, and brutal criminal kingpins who were storing dangerous information in a safety deposit box. The Bank Job won’t win any awards, but it’s enormously fun. Director Roger Donaldson (No Way Out, Species) propels the action along with vigor, editing zippily with perfect clarity among multiple storylines and various colorful characters. Jason Statham (Snatch, The Transporter), as the leader of the bank robbers, successfully steps away from his usual bone-crunching roles to a more human presence. The rest of the cast–including Saffron Burrows (Deep Blue Sea), Keeley Hawes (Tipping the Velvet), David Suchet (Poirot), and many faces familiar from British film and television–give their characters the right degree of personality and flavor without getting fussy or detracting from the headlong rush of the story. A little sex, a lot of action, a sly sense of humor, and a twisty plot; if more movies had these basic pleasures, the world would be a happier place. —Bret Fetzer
Stills from Bank Job (click for larger image)