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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BY Flicks Writer
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.