The Bank Job (2008)

Roger Donaldson

Jason Statham - Terry Leather
Saffron Burrows - Martine Love
Richard Lintern - Tim Everett
Stephen Campbell Moore - Kevin Swain
James Faulkner - Guy Singer
Craig Fairbass - Nick Barton
Daniel Mays - Dave Shilling
Peter de Jersey - Michael X

Genre - Drama

Running Time - 111 Minutes

Score - 3 Howls Outta 4

THE BANK JOB is based on a true story about a bank heist in the United Kingdom in 1971. Terry Leather (Jason Statham), a family man with a beautiful wife (Keely Hawes) and two daughters, runs some garage that sells cars. However, he is in debt with some loan shark who plans to start some action if he doesn't get his cash. In Terry's time of need, an old flame named Martina Love (Saffron Burrows) enters the picture and offers Terry a proposition: help her with a heist to steal some information from a safety deposit box in a bank and Terry and whoever else helps out can keep the money they steal from the very bank. Totally needing the cash, Terry accepts and builds a team for the heist. However, Martina hasn't told Terry the whole story. She's apparently being controlled by some MI5 agent, Tim Everett (Richard Lintern), who wants the contents of some compromising photos of a princess that's in the bank's vault. When Terry figures out what Martina's true intentions were behind the heist, Terry and his gang have to deal with shady MI5 agents and government officials.

THE BANK JOB is a good heist film done in a 70s fashion rather than a modern one, like the OCEAN films. The story is extremely complex, as there are a ton of subplots that all come back to the safety deposit boxes in the bank's vault. We get corrupt officials. We get a caper. We get extortion and murder. Everything is pretty straight forward without flashy flashbacks or stories that have to do nothing with the subject at hand and its consequences. I do hate the "based on a true story" phrase because it's obvious some of the film was fabricated to make a compelling story. But it's a great story and it's told really well and intelligently. I do think there could have been a bit more exciting segments and a more exciting style of visual storytelling that would have made THE BANK JOB pop out from other heist films. It's subtlety may be a turn off for people who are expecting exciting car chases and bank robberies. I also thought it was a bit generic at times, especially the dialogue, but still a good script.

Roger Donaldson's direction was a throwback to the 1970s, which I liked. A lot of old school atmosphere that's very cool compared to the flashy style we see now. The cinematography looked a bit washed out intentionally, making the film look grittier. The heist scenes were shot extremely well and the visual storytelling was straightforward, which I admired. I do think the music was a bit too modern for visuals that were trying to take me back instead of trying to keep me present. Kind of hurt the mood of the film a bit.

The acting was solid. Jason Statham is known mainly for his action roles, but the man can act too. He plays the tough guy convincingly as always in THE BANK JOB. He gets to show some range and emote a bit, giving Terry a lot of depth. I love Statham as an action star, but I hope he chooses roles like this as well. Why this guy isn't a bigger star is beyond me. He's uber cool and deserves more recognition. The other actors are likable, especially Saffron Burrows, who is also very easy on the eyes. But they don't really do as much interesting things as Statham does. It's really his story and the others are just players in his tale. But what they do, they do very well. I think the acting was probably the strongest asset that THE BANK JOB possessed.

isn't the best heist film I've ever seen but it's still a damn fine one. For a film with a lot of layers, they all fit in with each other very well. Solid acting and direction also help make THE BANK JOB a must rent, especially if you're Jason Statham fan. Recommended.


  1. Love the old-fasioned feel of the movie. Also Statham is always entertaining.

  2. Statham is awesome. I won't lie - I have a man-crush on the guy. Even in the worst films, he tends to be a highlight.

  3. Totally agree! He always delivers the goods.


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