There are so many movies about heists that it’s easy to miss the really great ones and this is one of the best of the best. It has so many things working for it that it was impossible for it to fail. Directed by Roger Donaldson (Bounty, Cocktail, Cadillac Man, Species, Dante’s Peak, The World’s Fastest Indian), who subsequently made some really mediocre movies, it’s based on a true story or to be more precise, several true stories interwoven into one hell of a package.

Set in the seventies, The Bank Job features great cinematography, authentic wardrobe and slang along with excellent pacing. I mean, the movie just flows and with so many interesting elements and characters you are constantly waiting for another part of the story to develop. What will happen with him, what will happen with her or this whole thing are the questions you will be asking. This is not some run-of-the-mill heist movie, but a true gem that will stay with you for many reasons. I know it feels a bit formulaic and that it’s riding the wave that Guy Ritchie started, but I really loved it.

It patiently builds its suspense that’s intensified by the fact that almost everything you’re about to see actually happened, creating an atmosphere that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Carefully avoiding over-the-top performances or twists, this is more of a subtle slow-burner for those nights when you want to be fully engaged in a movie. The final third of the movie was phenomenal, a section where most of your average or even great movies fail. I almost forgot to mention decent nudity and humor that was again subtle and natural, just like all the elements in this great British movie.

Terry Leather, a car salesman with his own shop, has fallen on some hard times. Having trouble generating enough cash, he used his criminal connection to get a loan that he’s having trouble paying off. At the same time, his long-time friend beautiful Martine Love is caught at the Heathrow Airport with a decent amount of drugs that she tried to smuggle into the country. Miraculously, Martine finds herself on the streets, free and looking for Terry with a business proposition that’s supposed to help them both…

I was always interested in seeing how the world really works, opting for a more difficult, thinking approach to life that leaves you in this grey, ambiguous zone that you simply have to accept while 90% of the population is living their lives right next to you, oblivious of these “hidden worlds”. Crime, secret agencies and state powers were always connected and this was also the case in the seventies, only enough time has passed so we can learn more about this period without big shots getting upset.

The Bank Job sheds light on this connection and its crazy story seems to be completely true, so if you want to know more about this, I will leave two links for further reading after the review. Carefully avoiding too harsh social commentary, it presents us with the truth as it is and you can bet your ass that the same thing is happening right now in the world. The players might be different, but the game stayed the same. And speaking of players, it’s time to praise the unbelievable cast of this movie.

Starting from our lead man Statham, who was great as usual, and his band of merry robbers to David Suchet in a much different role than we are used to seeing him in. With a great script, they made all the characters seem real and authentic, raising the stakes even higher. This movie has it all: thrills, humor, cozy atmosphere, great and authentic characters and finally it’s fucking based on a true story, so pick your night and your weapon and get ready to be blown away. Lovely jubbly.

Director: Roger Donaldson

Writers: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais

Cast: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, James Faulkner, Peter De Jersey, David Suchet

Wikipedia Link: Baker Street robbery

The real story link: What’s the real story behind The Bank Job?


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