Monday, July 21, 2008

The Bank Job: Grade C

The Bank Job (2008)

Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, David Suchet; Director Roger Donaldson

In 1970’s London, a group of amateur thieves (headed by Statham) is recruited by an old thief acquaintance (Burrows) to rob the safe-deposit boxes of a bank “while the alarms are being repaired.” In fact she works for the government, which wants to recover embarrassing pictures of royalty held in the bank by a blackmailer, but the government wants deniability, thus the ruse. All this is told to us in the first few minutes of the movie, robbing the story of any dramatic tension. We watch the team dig a tunnel under the bank vault with zero suspense. There is nothing interesting to see. The robbery goes without a hitch and they get away. The government agents learn that the pictures have not been recovered and millions of dollars are gone, but they manage to track down the thieves without much trouble. In a last minute twist involving cops on the take, the pictures are turned over to the government but the thieves are allowed to keep their money. None of this is very interesting and the story would strain credulity except it is supposedly based on a true event. That doesn’t make it a good movie though. Except for the lack of computers and cell phones, the film does not have a period feel. Acting is adequate although there is no chemistry among the players. The filmmakers apparently forgot they were doing a movie and thought it was a documentary, and the compromised result is completely flat.

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