The Bank Job
Release Year: 2008
Director: Roger Donaldson
Writers: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, James Faulkner, Alki David, Michael Jibson, Georgia Taylor, Richard Lintern, Peter Bowles, Alistair Petrie, David Suchet, Peter De Jersey
Rating: Nominated for 1 Saturn Award: Best International Film
Terry (Jason Statham) is offered a foolproof hit on a safety deposit room of a London bank. What he and his gang do not realise is that some boxes contain dirty secrets that will thrust them into a deadly web of corruption and potential scandals.
One thing to keep in mind before watching The Bank Job is that this is not a typical heist movie, going into the film expecting that might lead you to think it was rather slow to start. Rather, it is a stylish crime drama with focus on the drama. London of the 1970s is rendered with meticulous care and the plot draws on many true events of the period (see Moviegeek Info below). Jason Statham (Spy, 2015) plays a down-on-his-luck mechanic with a criminal past (and present) who is also troubled by a less than perfect family life. When a woman from his past, Martine (Saffron Burrows), comes back in his life with a heist plan to good to believe, he sees a way to end his troubles, if everything goes perfectly that is. The film has many side plot that tie together, including one with the London mob boss Lew Vogel (a great David Suchet), and one with the black power leader Michael X (Peter de Jersey) that is barely related to the main story. The film has solid acting and a good pay-off, but takes a while to get there and goes to unnecessarily dark places along the way.
The film ties together several true events:
1. A big bank robbery did take place on Baker Street in 1971, culprits never found, money never recovered. After initial big headlines, the story disappeared from the newspapers.
2. There was serious police corruption in London in the 1970s, cops on payrolls of drug dealers and pornographers.
3. Princess Margaret was involved in a series of affairs, some caught on compromising photos which were not published by the otherwise relentlessly sensational British press, under the D-Notice rule.
4. There was a militant British black-power advocate, called Michael X, involved in a one-man, multi-country crime wave. (In 1971, John Lennon paid for Michael X’s bail, something not mentioned in the film.)
Picture Copyright: Lionsgate