Film reviews

The Bank Job, Cert; 15 (Opens 25th February 2008)

Mark Kermode was far from impressed with this latest gangster Brit-flick, and I must confess I was far from being overcome with anticipation before I saw it, and the first fifteen minutes of the movie did little to dispel my initial reservations, seeming almost as though it were a straight-to-video soft porn flick, considering the amount of naked female flesh on show; however I shall give credit where it’s due – I (and the Kermode) were quite emphatically WRONG.

Based (perhaps loosely) on the true story of a 1971 bank heist, and centred around Baker Street in London, director Roger Donaldson succeeds in leading us through a web of intrigue, constantly surprising us with unexpected twists and turns right up until the film’s (relatively) happy ending.

It’s difficult to write anything about “The Bank Job” without giving away some of the major bullet points of the plot, so instead I shall focus mainly on the performances. Now, Saffron Burrows (Martine) is arguably the performer here who has attracted most criticism from the negative side of the spectrum, having her performance described as “wooden”, and while I can, to some extent, see where these over zealous hacks are coming from, I personally feel that it the full intention of the director that her role was meant to come across that way – a rather one dimensional character whom the viewer never really fully trusts from the beginning, Jason Statham (Terry) being her fall guy in carrying out this most colossal of tasks with his motley crew of underworld felonists and reprobates.

Statham, as we all know, plays the hard man well, although on this occasion he is of the more restrained variety, and only really agrees to the caper to finance his struggling business as a used car dealer and enable him to support his wife and child more fully.

Of course, there are more than a few hitches along the way, the number one faux pas being the unintentional theft of photographs of an erstwhile member of the Royal Family (presumed to be Princess Margaret) in very uncompromising situations. This box is owned by a radical black activist who uses….ah look, I’m giving the plot away again. Just go and see it and decide for yourself whether it’s me or Kermode that needs a good smack round the chops.

Scintillating stuff. 9/10


Tone E


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