The Bank Job Post

The Bank Job follows a heavily crime-oriented plot which primarily centers around Jason Statham’s character pulling together a ragtag band of thieves who have fallen on hard times, in order to pull of a heist that should net them enough cash to get them out of said hard times. The plot is thickened when it turns out the safety deposit boxes they are stealing from belong to half the seedy crime lords in Soho. One of those crime lords happens to be Michael X- a Black Panther type who likes to cause a ruckus and be the Brit version of Malcolm. His inclusion, while plot related- does seem tacked on, and could have been erased entirely with little effort on the part of the writers. I guess they really fell in love with the ‘based on a true story’-part of their title.

Due to the nature of heist films I was pretty much guaranteed to love this film from the get go. I sat down pretty much willing to give this film a perfect 10, and was just waiting for things to happen that would knock that score down*. The Bank Job unfortunately is more about the aftermath of the heist than it was the actual planning and undertaking. And while the ending did have a ‘all; falls into place’-feel that I’ve come to expect from the genre, there where no really clever moments that had you thinking that these guys really know what they re doing. I’m a big fan of the twist-on-twist ending that reveals that one of the guys was bad all along but the main guy totally knew it and took a counter measure that makes him or her look really clever… ore something like that. Whatever it is I am trying to get at this film does have it. And that’s a minus.

I also felt that while the time setting and execution of the heist was a refreshing change from the standard fair, the location (London) waste really taken advantage of as much as it could have been. The whole thing could have easily been set in Knob-end, Kansas and I would have never known. (Though it would have made the line at the end when some guy says “She’s a scallywag” a little odd.)

That said the characters where pretty good and operated as a believable crime-team would do. Some characters where smart, others funny or very skilled- it’s a refreshing change from the modern Ocean’s 11 approach where every character is the funniest, cleverest and most skilled bank robber ever working with a team of other crooks. The whole film was believably set in the 1970 right down to the cars driven and tool used to take on the task of robbing the bank. I love the ‘walkie-talkie bandits vs. the ham radio’ portion of the film as it added a level of grit and realism where a laser-activated-tracking-scanner with built-in-thermal-detector would have been the approach in today’s heists.

All in all a good film that was just lacking a bit too much in the cleverness and action departments. The Michael X character really seemed to get too much unnecessary screen time, but the strong character development and general nature of the film surpass that enough to net it a positive reaction from me.

*When I realized that this wasn’t a flashback scene and Jason was going to keep those sideburns through the whole movies was the first of these offenses.

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