The Bank Job
Rated R; Directed by Roger Donaldson; Starring Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, David Suchet, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, Richard Lintern
The heist film is an interesting genre – we, in the audience, often end up rooting for the bad guys pulling off the heist. We become involved as we worry if the cops will nab the thieves during or after the heist. We also worry that the gang of thieves can stick together after the heist. The Bank Job offers all that worry in a well-told story, and also throws in political maneuvering, royal scandal, and porn movies. What a combination.
Based on a real robbery that happened in 1971 London, The Bank Job stars Jason Statham as the leader of a band of petty crooks who are talked into robbing a bank. What Terry (Statham) doesn’t know is that his ex-girlfriend, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows), who is doing the talking, has ulterior motives. She’s after a specific safe deposit box that holds scandalous photos of a certain Royal. It’s a clever story that mixes corrupt cops, black activists, a brothel madam, elite members of the English government (who really shouldn’t visit that brothel), and one dedicated ham radio operator.
Watching Terry’s band barely pull off the robbery is not as thrilling as in the great heist movies. The fun begins after the robbery. There are a lot of nasty people who are unhappy about what was stolen from their safe deposit boxes and it’s a question of who will get to Terry’s gang first. David Suchet stands out as the main menacing bad guy.
The B-movie fun in The Bank Job comes from the various characters mixed up in the robbery. And yes, there is plenty to worry about. After all, it’s a heist film.