Yes, calm down imaginary fans. I’m back after a two week absence, which I’m sure was totally noticed. Anyway, I really do have a shitload of reviews to catch up on, so let’s get crackin’
Oh, Jason Statham- how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I genuinely like the Stath in anything he’s in. After the sense-raping that is the two Crank films, I just love seeing him in things. He’s the British Vin Diesel- and yes, that’s a good thing. However, like his ridiculously deep voiced Yank counterpart, he does seem to pick some “questionable” projects to act in. I rented The Bank Job believing it to be your standard Stath vehicle with a ’70s setting draped over all the punching people in the face and calling them a ponce. I’m happy to report it’s more than that and a hell of lot more entertaining to boot.
The Bank Job is based on the real-life robbery of the Baker Street Lloyds Bank in 1971. The oddly named Terry Leather (Jason Statham) is an ex criminal who now owns a car dealership. When he is approached by old flame Martine (Saffron Burrows) he is offered a place on a ragtag team planning on raiding the safe deposit boxes held in the Baker Street Lloyds. I really enjoyed the story and having known nothing about the actual event, felt that I was a bit more educated after watching it (although some liberties with the truth are taken, especially involving a certain royal and her nudie pics). If I had to pithily sum The Bank Job up I suppose I would say it is a cross between The Sweeney and Ocean’s Eleven, which is, I think you’ll agree, a bit genius. The Stath was actually good as Terry, putting in more of a Snatch performance than a Transporter one. Although, he is more suited to gruff one-liners and punching people. The stand out for me though was David Suchet’s (yes, the Poirot guy) genuinely nasty Lew Vogel, who has ensured I will never fully trust the funny moustached Belgian detective ever again.
I really expected The Bank Job to be dumb fun. It was fun, but it certainly wasn’t dumb. I must give it credit for not falling into the usual traps that films set in the ’60s and ’70s do. Not once did I see any disco dancing which brought a huge sigh of relief to my inner pedant.
This review may seem shorter than others because of the quality of the notes I scrawled down in my notepad (Apparently I can’t just watch films any more- I must make notes) I wrote down the word “sandblaster” down, but I needn’t have bothered- that scene will be burned onto my brain for a long time to come. It’s genuinely harrowing and features more bastardliness for Suchet.
My only real problem with The Bank Job is the same problem I have with films like Ocean’s Eleven. You have to flesh out every character in the team enough otherwise the audience simply won’t care what happens to them. By the end of it, I couldn’t remember the names of half our loveable rogues, let alone what happened to them. Still, that may be down to me not having the brain capacity to deal with over four characters. Anyway, The Bank Job is entertaining and taut enough to warrant at the very least a casual glance.