THE BANK JOB is first class entertainment - a well-written script (Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais) with many twists and turns, face paced direction (Roger Donaldson), and a reliable cast of actors who know this genre well. AND it is all based on a true event from 1970 when a bank heist in London resulted in a number of falls of the heads of government who were locking away their 'dirty underwear' in the safety deposit boxes of a quiet bank on Baker Street. A great, unique movie this is not, but it is one that provides close to two hours of complex but highly suspenseful antics that keep the viewer glued to the screen.
Terry Leather (Jason Statham) isn't making it as a car salesman and has debts to pay to the crime world. He meets an old sweetheart Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) who proposes that Terry and his friends rob a bank that is due for security repairs and a fairly surefire safe means to instant wealth. Martine just happens to be working with a fellow who wants some rasty photographs of Princess Margaret in questionable sexual liaisons and has Martine setup the 'easy heist'. Terry and friends agree to the too-good-to-be-true venture and begin to burrow into the bank vault under cover of night and clever means. Once the 'keystone cops' of London arrive on the scene the comedy portion begins, but when Terry, Martine and friends successfully achieve their goal, all manner of complications occur and the ways in which police and governmental corruption color the picture makes for a solid ending. As a fine addendum, the true facts of this actual heist and resulting events are flashed on the screen before the closing credits.
The cast (including such fine actors as Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, Alki David, James Faulkner et al) seems to have a great time with the caper and there is just the right balance between suspense and comedy to make the movie work. And oh the secrets about naughty England we discover! Grady Harp, July 08