The Bank Job
- Director:Roger Donaldson
- Cast:Saffron Burrows, Daniel Mays, Jason Statham, David Suchet
- Film Worth:$7.00
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Since his incendiary debut with 1977's Sleeping Dogs (at the time, the first film to...
Since his incendiary debut with 1977's Sleeping Dogs (at the time, the first film to be made in New Zealand for fifteen years), Australian filmmaker Roger Donaldson has helmed movies that run the gamut of filmmaking: studio thrillers (No Way Out, The Recruit), schlocky science fiction (Species), studio event pictures (Dante's Peak) and also the odd period epic (The Bounty). Since his last effort, the low budget passion piece The World's Fastest Indian, Donaldson seems to have felt the need to bank a few quid as a gun-for-hire by directing the fact-based crime caper The Bank Job.
It's 1971 and professional criminal Terry Leather (Jason Statham) is enlisted by old flame, Martine (Saffron Burrows), to rob a London bank of its safety deposit boxes. What Terry and his crew don't know is that one of the boxes contains highly sensitive photographs of a British royal family member "in flagrante delicto". Pulling the bank job is only half the battle though, as Terry and his crew find themselves being blackmailed for a share of the haul by East End hard man Lew Vogel (David Suchet), as well as being muscled by shadowy MI5 agents hell bent on getting their hands on the sensitive photos.
Statham is used well here, although he's not exactly stretching himself, and Suchet all but devours the scenery. But regardless, the film works as a "does-what-it-says-on-the-tin" crime caper. Still, it never really rises above its deeply conventional script, which, given that the story is based on fact, is barely serviceable. The production design rates a mention, with the film effectively set in a grim 70s London, and Donaldson's deft direction sees the action executed well. Ultimately, however, The Bank Job is let down by a few seriously undercooked elements in the creative kitchen.