A small-time crook takes on a bank heist when an old friend offers him an inside track to the vault. Along with his hastily assembled team of low-rung criminals Terry (Statham) finds himself deep into this real-life heist ... more »and quite suddenly the target of ruthless mobsters the police government officials at the highest level and even the royal family.System Requirements:Running Time: 110 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLERS Rating: R UPC: 031398236092 Manufacturer No: 23609« less
...The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Guilty
Karen Joan | Texas | 07/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Set in London in the early 1970s, THE BANK JOB is based on real life events. A group of would be criminals is set up by MI5 (or 6, no one can keep them straight) to rob a bank and regain compromising photos of a royal personage. Unfortunately for our gang, not only were the photos in question (which were the "property" of corrupt revolutionary Michael X) kept in a safe deposit box at this bank, but so were the secrets and lies of many famous and infamous people, including the payola ledgers of a porn kingpin and the photo files of a well-placed local madam. Everybody who was anybody, from the cops on the beat up to the Lords of the Realm, was implicated in some scandal by the evidence from this notorious bank robbery.
THE BANK JOB is a fun, exciting, tension-filled romp. These amateur crooks catch more breaks and have more close calls than you would imagine possible. While the film does slightly bog down on occasion, for the most part the pacing builds just the right amount of suspense with these twists and turns of fate. In several places, my heart was actually racing. By the end, our villains are the heroes, and everyone gets what they truly deserve.
I really liked the cinematography of this film. THE BANK JOB actually looks like it was filmed in the 1970s. At one point, I double-checked with my husband to confirm that it was a recent movie. The effect used is very convincing, producing a very authentic look. The ensemble cast was quite good, performing as a cohesive unit, but no individual really standing out.
THE BANK JOB is a great movie for an entertaining evening at home. My husband and I really had a lot of fun. And we got to learn a little history from the 1970s as well. "
The good reviews from critics were right
Monkdude | Hampton, Virginia | 07/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't really interested in The Bank Job until I caught Ebert and Roeper on the tube and heard mucho praise from Richard Roeper, as well as, the guest critic at the time. I wouldn't put this on my top ten of the year list, but it was suspenseful and downright entertaining from start to finish. I'm not the biggest Jason Statham fan, mainly because he always looks and sounds the same in every role, but here he shows a little more range and is quite likeable. Overall, this is a worthy rental that got overlooked by many during it's theatrical run."
A refreshing surprise...exciting and thoroughly entertaining
RMurray847 | Albuquerque, NM United States | 03/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE BANK JOB is a bit of a throwback to a different kind of crime movie. In this day and age, most heist movies are super high-tech (THE ITALIAN JOB, any of the OCEAN'S movies) and usually an occasion for big name stars to do a little slumming. They may be lots of fun, but they are also sleek and modern. But THE BANK JOB takes place in 1970, and it is a gritty little period piece.
There's no mistaking it for a film actually MADE in 1970. There's too much graphic sex and nudity, the language is too harsh. Also, star Jason Statham's hair isn't what you'd see in the 70s. But it feels very specific to its time and is refreshingly low tech. Jackhammers, shovels, walkie-talkies. It's in a time WAY before computers on every desk and cell phones in every pocket. No internet. No email. Just rotary dial telephones. A time before criminals worried about leaving DNA evidence behind.
It's based on or inspired by the true story of the most lucrative bank robbery in British history (some 4 million pounds). The robbers dug a tunnel underneath a couple of shops and emerged beneath the vault of a branch of Lloyds bank. They opened all the safety deposit boxes and disappeared with a wide and sundry list of items. Apparently, many, many of the box owners declined to tell what items were stolen from them, so the filmmakers have created a rather elaborate scheme involving blackmail, homegrown terrorists, prostitution and miscellaneous indiscretions at the highest levels of government to "explain" why so many folks were too ashamed to admit what they kept stored in the vault. It's a complex little plot, but it is neatly put together and actually fairly fun to follow.
Jason Statham is the nominal leader of a gang of minor criminals who are lured into going for "one big job" by Saffron Burrows, a former school chum who grew up and left their low-class neighborhood to become a model. After a serious brush with the law, she's given a second chance by agreeing to convince her old chums to rob this bank. Easy pickings, she tells them. Of course, she has been directed to recover a specific, highly incendiary packet of photos. Photos that several warring factions want to get, and they'll use just about any means at their disposal to do so.
We've got a wide assortment of bad guys, ranging from simply nasty to murderously insane. Into this brew our group of eager but mostly incompetent robbers are thrown. With a mixture of luck, force of will and some innate, brute cleverness, they muddle their ways through.
I don't want to reveal too many specifics of the plot, because the primary fun of this film IS the plot. The characters are loosely drawn...we just get enough on everyone to stereotype them. The movie is packed with characters, and moves at such a brisk pace that there really isn't time for depth. There are some super tense scenes when a ham radio operator picks up the conversations between the robbers and their lookout...will the cops figure out which bank is being robbed in time? There are lots of unusual touches like that throughout the movie.
THE BANK JOB also features Jason Statham's best performance to date. I realize that might not being saying much. His prior films, whether good or not, didn't exactly thrive on his subtleties as a performer, but rather on his brute persona and fighting skills. In this film, I believe he's finally emerged with a credible, engaging performance. Except for one brief scene at the end, he never is compelled to violence, so he has to rely on his wits and his charm. Both are on display here, so even if the movie isn't a huge hit, I think Statham might start taking on some more juicy work in the future.
This is an adult caper movie. As I hinted, it deserves its R rating. But it sure is a lot of fun, and while it no doubt will be gone soon from the collective memory, it is well worth your time."
BJ | East Peoria, IL United States | 07/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Think "Snatch" & "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"!
Good movie, Jason Statham rarely disappoints and doesn't once again in "The Bank Job"!
I wasn't sure about this movie, the preview looked good, several sketchy reviews said otherwise. As usual, the big time, well known reviewers were wrong!
The movie keeps you guessing with twists and turns, best yet, it was apparently written about the actual 1971 true-life robbery of a bank in Baker Street, London, from which the money and valuables stolen were never recovered.
Don't miss out on "The Bank Job"!"
When you open Pandora's box, you just never know what you'll
Baking Enthusiast | Chicago, IL USA | 07/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set in the swinging London of 1971, "The Bank Job" is a riotously fun heist film that's loosely based on actual events. Known then as the "walkie-talkie bank job," it was the biggest bank robbery of its time and probably the most controversial. Apparently, the loot from this heist did not consist merely of cash and jewels, but some rather more important documents that could embarrass the royal family.
The heist is prompted, really, by the British government's inability to incarcerate a criminal slumlord and pimp, Michael Abdul Malik, known as Michael X (Peter De Jersey). A self-styled gadfly and pseudo-Black-Panther wannabe from Trinidad, he holds a get-out-of-jail card in the form of photographs he'd taken earlier of a Very Improper Personage (later to surface as Princess Margaret) in very compromising...uh...positions with lovers during an island escapade. These photos are kept in his safe deposit box at Lloyds Bank. Also in one of the boxes is a ledger kept by the smut king Lew Vogel (played by the versatile David Suchet), detailing payoffs to crooked cops, and another box kept by a `Madame,' the contents of which depict certain MPs in...uh...non-parliamentary scenarios. Evidently, everyone's been a naughty boy and girl.
Meanwhile, a former model with East End roots, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows), is aided by a her lover, an MI5 spook, in beating the rap for transporting drugs into the UK. In exchange, she has to call on her petty criminal friends to break into the Lloyd's Bank vault and retrieve the compromising photos of said VIP. Innocent of the true motive behind the heist, her friend Terry Leather (Jason Statham) agrees to the proposition, himself needing fast cash to pay off debts to some scary thugs. The crew consists of Terry, Martine, Terry's friends Kevin Swain (Stephen Campbell Moore), Dave Shilling (Daniel Mays), and Eddie Burton (Michael Jibson), and outside help in a Maj. Guy Singer (con artist extraordinaire), and Bambas (a tunneling expert). The plan is to take over the lease of a handbag store, Le Sac, and tunnel from its underground to the chicken take-out store adjacent to the bank, and finally into the bank's vault itself. (Their total loot was reportedly £4M.) Terry suspects that Martine is hiding something, and as things get even more complicated, the crew finds themselves chased by the MI5, the cops, and Vogel's henchmen, as well as engaging in a bargain brokered by Lord Mountbatten himself! (Absurdly hilarious, but who knows? Real life is stranger than fiction.)
Terrific acting all throughout, especially by Statham, and lots of twists and turns to keep things fresh. Swinging London was depicted extraordinarily well; production values were superb. A bit of comic dialogue and scenes in between ups the fun factor. One of the DVD extras which shows photos of the actual crime scene, especially the tunnel dug through Le Sac, were quite interesting. Comparing them to the film, the meticulous duplication of details was remarkable. The heist itself was audacious and entertaining, but it's the back-stories that bring real excitement into this. The actual heist is a true story but the damning photos are mere conjecture. A D-Notice (a sort of gag-the-press action) was issued at the time of the real events and it never surfaced as fact that the photos were indeed of Princess Margaret. She did have a party-girl image in the 1960s, and her exploits were fodder for the British rags. Michael X himself was hanged in Trinidad in 1975, but his file still remains closed until 2054. Though the robbery made the headlines, it quickly died down only after a few days. What was really behind all this? Well, that's left for the viewer to speculate. After all, that's part of the entertainment."