The Bank Job

The Bank Job

(2008)

Director Roger Donaldson follows up The World's Fastest Indian with this retro 70s crime caper starring Jason Statham.... More

In September 1971, thieves tunneled into the vault of a bank in London’s Baker Street and looted safe deposit boxes of cash and jewellery worth millions and millions of pounds. None of it was recovered. Nobody was ever arrested. The robbery made headlines for a few days and then disappeared – the result of a UK Government 'D' Notice, gagging the press. This film reveals what was hidden in those boxes. The story involves murder, corruption and a sex scandal with links to the Royal Family.

The film is in part based on historical facts. A gang tunnelled into a branch of Lloyds Bank at the intersection of Baker Street and Marylebone Road, in London, on the night of 11 September 1971 and robbed the safe deposit boxes there. The robbers had rented a leather goods shop named Le Sac, two doors down from the bank, and tunneled a distance of approximately 40 feet, passing under the intervening Chicken Inn restaurant.Hide

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Flicks Review

In 1971, thieves tunnelled into Lloyds Bank on London's Baker Street, raiding hundreds of safety deposit boxes. Not only did they find shiny pretty things worth millions, they also uncovered all sorts of seedy secrets belonging to the city's underworld. We would know more, except that MI5 and the British government slapped a 'D' notice on the case - freezing out the press. That didn't stop the rumour circulating that the stash included snaps of a member of the royal family, getting up to things no royal is 'supposed' to do...

It's a great set-up for this cockney Oceans 11, with plenty of factual holes that can be filled in with extra intrigue and scandal. Rent-a-heavy Jason Statham (Lock Stock, The Transporter) leads the team as Terry Leather, who is drawn into the heist by foxy Martine Love (Saffron Burrows), who in turn is being used by an MI5 agent who needs to retrieve the royal pics in order to bring the militant black power activist who took them (and is using them to bargain his way out of prosecution) to justice.

Sadly, the film is not quite as good as its premise - coming on more like an extended episode of retro crime series Life On Mars than a true big screen experience - all tan jackets and comedy cockdusters. Meanwhile, Statham uses the full 'range' of his acting abilities - both his hangdog face and his 'I'm going to kick you in the nuts' face - as his marital issues intertwine with his villainous pursuits. But he's no George Clooney, and just doesn't have enough charm or wit to truly carry things.

The Bank Job is mildly diverting - sporadically funny, occasionally tense - but with a true-life mystery like this to play with, it really could have been so much more. You won't feel robbed, but you won't feel much else either.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 2 reviews
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A thoroughly enjoyable and watchable movie!


BY Brian1 superstar

Worth seeing, this story makes for good entertainment.


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The Press Reviews

79% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • In the hands of a director who could keep the pace up, and an editor who was allowed to intercut some of the storylines, The Bank Job could have flown. But this is an only moderately absorbing thriller and not the classic the script could have yielded. Full Review

  • Despite a good premise, this is oddly uninvoling - culminating in a real disappointment. Full Review

  • The workmanlike title The Bank Job is a nice fit for this wham-bam caper flick. Full Review

  • A cheeky and entertaining blend of fact and wildly speculative fancy, this is an idea that veteran screenwriters Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement (who wrote great telly like Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet) kicked around for a decade. Full Review

  • 1/2 While fight fans may lament the lack of action, especially involving their poster-boy Statham, there's more than enough plan-changing, table-turning, geezer lingo and hot tottie to keep those interested in British crime dramas more than amused. Full Review

  • That dialogue however did let me down in places, a little too clunky, and while the pace was in keeping with the genre, that too felt a little staid at times. It picks up for a great finish, and was a perfectly enjoyable few hours in the cinema. Full Review