A cheerful, energetic, and completely entertaining movie, The Bank Job
follows some small-time hoods who think they've lucked into a big-time opportunity when they learn a bank's security system will be temporarily suspended--little suspecting that they're being manipulated by government agents for their own ends. The result is that the movie doubles its pleasures: While the robbery itself has the usual suspense of a heist film, when the robbery is over the hoods find themselves being hunted by the police, the government, and brutal criminal kingpins who were storing dangerous information in a safety deposit box. The Bank Job won't win any awards, but it's enormously fun. Director Roger Donaldson (No Way Out
) propels the action along with vigour, zippy editing (with perfect clarity among multiple story-lines) and various colourful characters. Jason Statham (Snatch
, The Transporter
), as the leader of the bank robbers, successfully steps away from his usual bone-crunching roles to a more human presence. The rest of the cast--including Saffron Burrows (Deep Blue Sea
), Keeley Hawes (Tipping the Velvet
), David Suchet (Poirot), and many faces familiar from British film and television--give their characters the right degree of personality and flavour without getting fussy or detracting from the headlong rush of the story. A little sex, a lot of action, a sly sense of humour, and a twisty plot. If more movies had these basic pleasures, the world would be a happier place. --Bret Fetzer
Thriller based on the true story of a 1971 London bank robbery that baffled the authorities and captivated the public. Jason Statham stars as Terry Leather, a former crooked car salesman who wants to put his shady past behind him and start a family. But when Terry's old neighbour, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows), proposes a foolproof plan to rob a Baker Street bank, Terry reluctantly agrees to come on board. As the operation gets underway, the resourceful group of thieves tunnel their way into a safe-deposit vault at the Lloyds Bank in Marylebone where they discover millions of pounds worth of cash and priceless gems. However, Terry and his crew don't realise the boxes also contain a treasure trove of dirty secrets that will thrust them into a deadly web of corruption and illicit scandal that spans London's criminal underworld, the British government, and even the Royal Family.