Roger Donaldson’s latest is one of his more successful filmmaking endeavors that serves as a classic bank heist film that while not doing anything dramatically new still serves as an excellent star vehicle for Jason Statham.
We quickly learn that Terry, (Statham) is an entrepreneur trying to make a big deal to get his family secure and out from under a debt to the types you don’t want to be in debt too. When an old, almost a, flame comes calling for his help, he is asked to round up the old crew to do a one time job that will get Terry free of his troubles and set for years to come. What Terry doesn’t know is that the job isn’t as simple as it seems and certain Royal Entanglements are actually behind the heist revolving around a plot to take out Michael X, a black power fundamentalist that could damage the thrown.
I will not divulge into the plot any further but once everything is set up the film gets pretty straight forward and never to convoluted inside itself, avoiding being over complicated while remaining clever and unpredictable. That said, the heist and film as a whole doesn’t do anything terribly new or interesting for the genre, but it does do everything very well. It has a number of well earned scenes of suspense, a good bit of humor, and a whole fleet of likable characters. We really learn to like these guys in a hurry and are more than anxious for them and their predicaments that they get put in.
Jason Statham is excellent as the heist leader, smart and holding a couple of tricks up his sleeve, he keeps you on your toes and keeps you happy that he is aware of the game and is always getting a leg up on a situation he shouldn’t.
The female lead of Martine is played well by Saffron Burrows with confidence and determination in her goals and you can understand why some of her heist mates get weak in the knees for her. She is an excellent con man and the looks her and Statham toss each other can be brutal.
The rest of the crew also does a very good job as they are all likable and make you care about whether they pull of this heist or not. Daniel Mays deserves special mention for his excellent turn as Dave, who is both funny and real without seeming like a comic relief stereotype.
Another one of the shining points of the film is that the heist isn’t the whole movie, that is only half the story and the story that follows is just as if not more interesting and fun then the heist itself. The only thing that doesn’t work very well is the spy sub plot inside Michael X’s camp, but is necessary to tell this true story. Though, it is by no means horrible, just a little bit above par for the course when compared to the rest of the film.
The Bank Job is a quality crime picture that allows Jason Statham to show off his acting chops. The films pacing and tone is very effective and the films injects humor very well to the proceedings. The only major complaint you can make is that it just falls short of jumping into that Wow level, but nonetheless is a very solid and excellent caper flick for anyone that is a fan of the crime genre.