This is Dan Pal with a two minute review of world cinema. The Bank Job is a thrilling new film based on the true story of a 1971 bank robbery in London. The story reportedly was prevented from being told for thirty years as it involved government corruption and a sex scandal with a member of the royal family.
Not all of this is immediately apparent as the film begins though. Several amateur bank robbers are at the heart of this story. They get pulled into the heist which has some pretty major implications for their lives. The film initially feels as if it's a low rent Oceans 11 or Small Time Crooks minus Woody Allen’s comedy. What humor there is comes naturally from the very well-developed characters. They aren’t the slick crew associated with Danny Ocean, but real, rounded, working people that we slowly get to know and care about as the film proceeds.
The look and feel to the film reminded me of several television series from the 1970s. The cars, clothes and sideburns help with that as do shots seldom used today such as the obvious ‘I’m looking through binoculars shot.” But make no mistake, this is a taut thriller that belongs to 2008. The film builds strongly to its climax. The story becomes increasingly complicated yet more details are revealed keeping us further involved in the thickening plot. Ironically, the narrative becomes clearer as the intricasies set in.
There is also an urgency the film’s excellent soundtrack which clearly adds to the suspense. The music is simultaneously modern yet rooted in the 1970s. Camera work and editing also have rapid fire energy. The film is no James Bond, but the lack of special effects and over the top chases make this story feel more real. It is a smart film that knows when to reveal important plot information and how to keep the audience from never losing interest
The large cast is stellar especially Jason Statham playing the lead character Terry Leather. He's a scruffy, tough, likeable, hero.
Overall, the Bank Job is a first rate thriller that will easily satisfy those looking for a generous blend of excitement and realism. The film is currently playing in local theaters. For more film discussions, check out my film podcasts at palcinema.com. I’m Dan Pal with your two minute review.