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Movie Review

The Bank Job

MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, nudity, violence and language

Reviewed by: Taran Gingery
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Crime, Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
7 March, 2008
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Copyright, Lionsgate
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

Robbery in the Bible

How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer

What does the Bible say about adultery? Answer

Nudity—Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

Featuring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, James Faulkner, Alki David, Michael Jibson, Richard Lintern, Don Gallagher, David Suchet
Director: Roger Donaldson
“The World’s Fastest Indian,” “Thirteen Days,” “The Recruit”
Producer: David Alper, Mairi Bett, Steve Chasman, Scott Fischer, Pete Ford, Alex Gartner, Alan Glazer, Gary Hamilton, Ryan Kavanaugh, Christopher Mapp, George McIndoe, Charles Roven, Aaron Shuster, Matthew Street, David Whealy
Distributor: Lionsgate

“The true story of a heist gone wrong… in all the right ways.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Based on the true story of the 1971 Baker Street bank robbery which was prevented from being told for over thirty years because of a Government gagging order. The real story of how one of the biggest robberies in British history took place with no arrests ever made nor money ever recovered.”

Terry Leather (Jason Statham) is in trouble. Terry has a new family and a business as a car dealer, but his shady past is catching up with him and he finds himself owing a lot of money to some dangerous men. So, when his old flame, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) appears and offers him an apparently foolproof plan to rob one of the most heavily guarded banks in London, he sees it as a quick way to a lot of money and a way out of all his troubles.

Terry assembles a team of amateurs and moves in for the heist. Unfortunately for him, Terry finds himself in more trouble than he was before. Martine may not be telling him everything and they could be stealing more than just gold and money. What Terry discovers in those bank vaults is a plot to overthrow a drug lord, government secrets that lead all the way to the Royal Family and a race to save the lives of himself and his friends before it’s too late.

For a heist film, this one has a lot going for it. It has a clever script. It is fast-paced and intriguing. It doesn’t particularly keep the audience guessing, but it keeps the audience interested in the fates of the characters. All of the actors are at the top of their game. But like all heist films, from “The Sting” to “Ocean’s Thirteen,” the audience is forced to root for heroes who are thieves.

Which leads me to the content. There is a lot of foul language, including f-words, obscene references to the female anatomy, and misuses of God’s name. Violence is intense and usually bloody, with a few beatings, a few shootings, one murder via machete and another via suffocation with a plastic bag. The bad guys torture a man by burning his leg with an industrial torch. The film opens with shots of topless girls in a swimming pool and a blurred, yet still explicit sex scene seen through the lens of a cameraman. Two other scenes take place in bars where fully nude women dance and serve drinks. Adultery is implied between Terry and Martine.

In spite of all this, somehow the values of reconciliation, courage and loyalty to ones’friends, and the need to reveal the truth and bring the enemy to justice come through. The good guys are good, but only insofar as we are willing to look past the fact that, though they save everyone, at the end of the day, they are still thieves. So, the good things are certainly not enough, then, to recommend this film to even discerning fans of the genre. The content of this film warrants that “The Bank Job” should be put back in the vaults.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive

none

Negative
Negative—I didnt like the movie b/c it had no good story line. I got bored within 30 mins. I also heard a lot of cussing for those who don’t like a lot of cussing. there ways nudity also. the actors did not do well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Chris, age 19
Negative—My friends and I went to see this film without realizing at all what we were getting ourselves into. Within the first two minutes, there was already an extremely offensive, intense sex scene. I thought maybe that would be the only sexual scene, so I stayed. Within the next ten mintues there was even more disgusting sexual content and several F-bombs, all in a very dark, oppressive setting. In just the fifteen or so minutes that I saw, I felt degraded as a woman—like we only exist as sexual objects. It was horrible to feel objectified like this, knowing that God did not create us just so we could use each other just to get our own pleasure. I felt so defiled, I walked out of the theater and got my money back, as did several of my friends. Those who stayed came out looking dazed, and one said she was going to need at least a week to recover. This is a horrible film, and unfortunately a good example of everything evil in our world. No wonder there is so much violence and sexual sin around us, when people are actually willingly watching total garbage like this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Nicole, age 22
Negative—Good review. The story is somewhat interesting, only because it is presumably based on fact, but the movie is not that good, even from a cinematic point of view, or maybe it is the sordid nature of the thematic content that makes it so distasteful. A salacious incident within the royal family is kept quiet until after the royal person’s death, and now this sordid tale comes to light in movie form. Apart from the hints at the enigmatic historical event, this film is of very little value and is certainly totally offensive in every possible way.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Halyna Barannik, age 61
Negative—I made the mistake of renting this movie. I didn’t get past the first 10 minutes. It should have been rated “X.” What is this world turning into? In the past this would have never passed for a rated “R” movie. This society has lost all morals.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Sylvia Petersen, age 42
Negative—We rented this moving, and I am so glad that I did not pay theatre price to see this film. We turned it off after 15 minutes. The beach scene and sex scene were absolutely unnecessary. But I gave the movie the benefit of the doubt, and once that nude bar scene appear it was too much to swallow. My husband and I do not need that filth in our home. I highly do not recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Amanda Holbrook, age 22
Negative—I can honestly say that I wish that my husband and I had not rented this movie. There were gratuitous sex scenes, nudity, other perversions and foul language that peppered the entire movie. There were indications that adultery had occurred between the two main characters. The storyline was weak, at best. The only excitement was the last half-hour when the robbers (whom the audience is supposed to support) are trying to get themselves out of trouble and bring the corrupt law enforcement agents, adult video king and the drug czar down. I was only able to sympathize with one character, the wife of the head thief.

This movie could have been so much more, had it been taken down to the very storyline and built around that. I rented this movie via an online mail rental source, and while I only paid mere cents for the rental, I feel I have been “robbed” of the few pennies that it cost.

Don’t fill your head with filth from this movie. Don’t waste your time and money by renting it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Tammy, age 34 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I’ll start off by saying that I did find the nudity and sexual content offensive. But aside from that I loved “The Bank Job.” This is a enrapturing suspense thriller that kept me interested from the beginning to the end. The Bank Job isn’t a typical Jason Statham thriller. He doesn’t perform outrageous stunts that everyone knows is far removed from real life. I liked the way the plot was far from simple as an assorted cast of character with various agendas get involved. I liked the motley crew of bank robbers which include Statham’s leader(and yes Statham can act), a high-class con artist, a demolition expert and 2 Carnaby street style characters. The suspense is spellbinding as the job gets pulled off with some interesting surprises, scenes that seem to only mark time come back to haunt the characters later, and how the aftermath spirals out of control. The scene involving the police trying to find out which bank is being robbed based on a ham radio operator’s reports is so suspenseful I almost stopped breathing. Also, there is something very satisfying about our good villains taking down the real scum of the picture namely the murderous pimp and the thug that passed himself off as civil rights activist to cover his criminal activities. The Bank Job may be one of the best films of the year.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Andrew, age 32