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, 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. All this is 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. It’s perfect for those nights when you want to be fully immerse yourself 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 subtle and natural humor, 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 uses his criminal connection to get a loan that he’s having trouble paying off. At the same time, police at the Heathrow Airport catch his long-time friend beautiful Martine Love. They found a hefty amount of drugs in her baggage. Miraculously, Martine finds herself on the streets, free and looking for Terry with a lucrative business proposition…
I was always drawn to seeing how the world really works, opting for a more difficult, thinking approach to life. An approach that leaves you in this grey, ambiguous zone where you simply have to accept that 90% of the population is living their lives right next to you, oblivious of these “hidden worlds”. Crime, secret agencies and state powers are always working together and this was also the case in the seventies. However, 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. 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. It’s a true pleasure to watch it unfold. 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