Reviewed by: Taran Gingery
|Featuring:||Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, James Faulkner, Alki David, Michael Jibson, Richard Lintern, Don Gallagher, David Suchet|
“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|
“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.