Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Bank Job

Truly Great Films 
Edition #6
Great acting, terrific script, awesome 
period setting...but best of all?

It really happened

Yes, it's true. 

I have a soft spot for merry old England. And The Bank Job, released in 2008, touched on that nerve, and quite a few others as well.

Like old British cars? They're here in spades. Like period films? Try London in the early 70s. Enjoy a movie based on a true story that isn't boring?'ve come to the right place.

Are you old enough to remember back when the Internet didn't exist? I am well aware that Al Gore says he invented it back in 1899, along with global warming and tooth decay.

But there was a time when celebrities behaved just as badly as they do now, but it wasn't instantly recorded and broadcast to the world via Twitter and TMZ. 

Hard to believe? 

Well, it's true as when Adolph Hitler personally attacked Pearl Harbor with the Bismark to cut off America's supply of iPhones. 

In the early 70s, celebs being naughty were sometimes captured on film....and that is the backstory in The Bank Job

Jason Statham plays a car dealer and generally nice yobbo named Terry Leather. He's a decent chap that has past experience in robbery. 

His ex, played by the lovely Saffron Burrows, approaches Statham with a job offer. The kind of job offer that either ends in rich retirement or prison.

The ploy is simple. Put together a crew and rob a bank vault on Baker Street discreetly. There are some things about the Baker Street Bank that Statham is unaware of, however. 

Some very, very naughty photos of Princess Margaret fell into the hands of a nasty gangster named Michael X. Michael, of course, has a box in the bank. MI5, of course, wants those photos back. Of course.

There is also a box filled with S@M photos depicting one of England's high-ranking ministers. There's also a box with a local crime lord's bribery ledger. 

David Suchet plays the vicious crime lord Vogel

So, basically, the Baker Street Bank is a shit-ton of bad news, and Statham has no idea. But they go ahead and rent a shop two doors down from the bank anyways and get to work. 

Just to be clear, MI5, a brutal crime boss named Vogel (with some of the best lines in this movie) and the entire British government do not want what the information tucked away in the safe deposit boxes of the Baker Street Bank to ever see the light of day.

And that's exactly what Statham and his criminal pals are about to do.

Statham and his crew do indeed tunnel under a take-out restaurant and break into the Baker Street vault. And then...

Am I going to tell you everything? know me better than that.

This truly is a great flick, and you should put up your feet, snuggle with a loved one, and enjoy the ride.

There are no fight scenes, no wild explosions, nor are there any fancy car chases in The Bank Job

There is, though, fantastic acting, terrific pacing, spirited dialogue and loads of tension.

I would like to go on record here. I have followed Jason Statham's career from the very beginning, way back to when he was a stuntman and Guy Ritchie gave him a shot at acting.

I loved The Transporter, even if it is a little silly. That's okay, sometimes we need a bit of silliness. Crank made me laugh, Death Race was balls-out fun and Expendables wasn't too terrible.

But Statham has also made a large number of bland stinkers, like War, The Mechanic and Safe

So here it is...The Bank Job is the best performance of his career that I've seen. 

You handsome man, you

And it proves that Statham is much more than just a kick and blow stuff up guy. He's also likable, and he can act. Period.

Now, some of the events in this flick are fictionalized - but not for the reasons you might expect. The truth is, I don't think anyone other than the owners of those safe deposit boxes knows what was really in them. 

But think about this: The British government plastered a D-Notice over the whole affair, ensuring that the press or public would never know what really went down on Baker Street back in 1971. Interesting, eh? The Bank Job tonight and watch it. You won't be disappointed.

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