The Bank Job

The Bank Job (2008) movie poster

(2008) dir. Roger Donaldson
viewed: 07/28/08

Based on the 1971 bank robbery known as the Baker Street robbery, The Bank Job is an attempt at revealing some complicated backstory that was hushed up along with the robbery.  How much of The Bank Job is fact or fiction probably doesn’t matter to most, though it is interesting that there is perhaps some true history there.  If so, it’s kind of scary.  But as a movie, it’s just pretty entertaining.

Starring Jason Statham, of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000), and The Transporter (2002), and many other action films, it’s a caper film, a conspiracy film, and seemingly a historical film to an extent.  It’s directed by Roger Donaldson, who is one of those directors who has a few decent films to his resume (No Way Out (1987), Species (1995), and most recently before this, The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)), but isn’t really a stand-out of any kind.  (Also, it’s not that Species is good…but it’s good/bad as I recall.)

For some reason, I kept conflating the name and concept of this movie to 2003’s The Italian Job, which was actually a PG-13 remake of another movie.  I think it’s simply because the name is so simple that it almost is forgettable.

Maybe that is true enough with this film.

Statham shows about 3 centimeters of emotional range here, which is a stretch from his normal 1.5 centimeters.  He’s always got the same look on his face whatever movie he is in.  That said, he’s not a terrible leading man.  He’s less unlikeable perhaps due to restraint.  I don’t know.

The story is complicated, mixing bad beat cops, bad drug-dealing wannabe Black Power characters, bad government types, bad bad guys, and then our good bad guys, the low-level thieves that get mixed up in a bank heist arranged by the English equivalent of the CIA.  Everyone is out to get someone, everyone has something to lose.  And once the heist is over, that’s when the drama really starts.

It’s entertaining.  It’s not bad.  But it’s not particularly memorable either.  Kind of like its title perhaps.

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