Monday, November 4, 2013

The Bank Job + Digital Copy (2008)

The Bank Job + Digital CopySet in London in the early 1970s, THE BANK JOB is based on real life events. A group of would be criminals is set up by MI5 (or 6, no one can keep them straight) to rob a bank and regain compromising photos of a royal personage. Unfortunately for our gang, not only were the photos in question (which were the "property" of corrupt revolutionary Michael X) kept in a safe deposit box at this bank, but so were the secrets and lies of many famous and infamous people, including the payola ledgers of a porn kingpin and the photo files of a well-placed local madam. Everybody who was anybody, from the cops on the beat up to the Lords of the Realm, was implicated in some scandal by the evidence from this notorious bank robbery.

THE BANK JOB is a fun, exciting, tension-filled romp. These amateur crooks catch more breaks and have more close calls than you would imagine possible. While the film does slightly bog down on occasion, for the most part the pacing builds just the right amount of suspense with these twists and turns of fate. In several places, my heart was actually racing. By the end, our villains are the heroes, and everyone gets what they truly deserve.

I really liked the cinematography of this film. THE BANK JOB actually looks like it was filmed in the 1970s. At one point, I double-checked with my husband to confirm that it was a recent movie. The effect used is very convincing, producing a very authentic look. The ensemble cast was quite good, performing as a cohesive unit, but no individual really standing out.

THE BANK JOB is a great movie for an entertaining evening at home. My husband and I really had a lot of fun. And we got to learn a little history from the 1970s as well.

I wasn't really interested in The Bank Job until I caught Ebert and Roeper on the tube and heard mucho praise from Richard Roeper, as well as, the guest critic at the time. I wouldn't put this on my top ten of the year list, but it was suspenseful and downright entertaining from start to finish. I'm not the biggest Jason Statham fan, mainly because he always looks and sounds the same in every role, but here he shows a little more range and is quite likeable. Overall, this is a worthy rental that got overlooked by many during it's theatrical run.

Buy The Bank Job + Digital Copy (2008) Now

THE BANK JOB is first class entertainment a well-written script (Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais) with many twists and turns, face paced direction (Roger Donaldson), and a reliable cast of actors who know this genre well. AND it is all based on a true event from 1970 when a bank heist in London resulted in a number of falls of the heads of government who were locking away their 'dirty underwear' in the safety deposit boxes of a quiet bank on Baker Street. A great, unique movie this is not, but it is one that provides close to two hours of complex but highly suspenseful antics that keep the viewer glued to the screen.

Terry Leather (Jason Statham) isn't making it as a car salesman and has debts to pay to the crime world. He meets an old sweetheart Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) who proposes that Terry and his friends rob a bank that is due for security repairs and a fairly surefire safe means to instant wealth. Martine just happens to be working with a fellow who wants some rasty photographs of Princess Margaret in questionable sexual liaisons and has Martine setup the 'easy heist'. Terry and friends agree to the too-good-to-be-true venture and begin to burrow into the bank vault under cover of night and clever means. Once the 'keystone cops' of London arrive on the scene the comedy portion begins, but when Terry, Martine and friends successfully achieve their goal, all manner of complications occur and the ways in which police and governmental corruption color the picture makes for a solid ending. As a fine addendum, the true facts of this actual heist and resulting events are flashed on the screen before the closing credits.

The cast (including such fine actors as Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, Alki David, James Faulkner et al) seems to have a great time with the caper and there is just the right balance between suspense and comedy to make the movie work. And oh the secrets about naughty England we discover! Grady Harp, July 08

Read Best Reviews of The Bank Job + Digital Copy (2008) Here

Think "Snatch" & "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"!

Good movie, Jason Statham rarely disappoints and doesn't once again in "The Bank Job"!

I wasn't sure about this movie, the preview looked good, several sketchy reviews said otherwise. As usual, the big time, well known reviewers were wrong!

The movie keeps you guessing with twists and turns, best yet, it was apparently written about the actual 1971 true-life robbery of a bank in Baker Street, London, from which the money and valuables stolen were never recovered.

Don't miss out on "The Bank Job"!

Want The Bank Job + Digital Copy (2008) Discount?

Set in the swinging London of 1971, "The Bank Job" is a riotously fun heist film that's loosely based on actual events. Known then as the "walkie-talkie bank job," it was the biggest bank robbery of its time and probably the most controversial. Apparently, the loot from this heist did not consist merely of cash and jewels, but some rather more important documents that could embarrass the royal family.

The heist is prompted, really, by the British government's inability to incarcerate a criminal slumlord and pimp, Michael Abdul Malik, known as Michael X (Peter De Jersey). A self-styled gadfly and pseudo-Black-Panther wannabe from Trinidad, he holds a get-out-of-jail card in the form of photographs he'd taken earlier of a Very Improper Personage (later to surface as Princess Margaret) in very compromising...uh...positions with lovers during an island escapade. These photos are kept in his safe deposit box at Lloyds Bank. Also in one of the boxes is a ledger kept by the smut king Lew Vogel (played by the versatile David Suchet), detailing payoffs to crooked cops, and another box kept by a `Madame,' the contents of which depict certain MPs in...uh...non-parliamentary scenarios. Evidently, everyone's been a naughty boy and girl.

Meanwhile, a former model with East End roots, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows), is aided by a her lover, an MI5 spook, in beating the rap for transporting drugs into the UK. In exchange, she has to call on her petty criminal friends to break into the Lloyd's Bank vault and retrieve the compromising photos of said VIP. Innocent of the true motive behind the heist, her friend Terry Leather (Jason Statham) agrees to the proposition, himself needing fast cash to pay off debts to some scary thugs. The crew consists of Terry, Martine, Terry's friends Kevin Swain (Stephen Campbell Moore), Dave Shilling (Daniel Mays), and Eddie Burton (Michael Jibson), and outside help in a Maj. Guy Singer (con artist extraordinaire), and Bambas (a tunneling expert). The plan is to take over the lease of a handbag store, Le Sac, and tunnel from its underground to the chicken take-out store adjacent to the bank, and finally into the bank's vault itself. (Their total loot was reportedly £4M.) Terry suspects that Martine is hiding something, and as things get even more complicated, the crew finds themselves chased by the MI5, the cops, and Vogel's henchmen, as well as engaging in a bargain brokered by Lord Mountbatten himself! (Absurdly hilarious, but who knows? Real life is stranger than fiction.)

Terrific acting all throughout, especially by Statham, and lots of twists and turns to keep things fresh. Swinging London was depicted extraordinarily well; production values were superb. A bit of comic dialogue and scenes in between ups the fun factor. One of the DVD extras which shows photos of the actual crime scene, especially the tunnel dug through Le Sac, were quite interesting. Comparing them to the film, the meticulous duplication of details was remarkable. The heist itself was audacious and entertaining, but it's the back-stories that bring real excitement into this. The actual heist is a true story but the damning photos are mere conjecture. A D-Notice (a sort of gag-the-press action) was issued at the time of the real events and it never surfaced as fact that the photos were indeed of Princess Margaret. She did have a party-girl image in the 1960s, and her exploits were fodder for the British rags. Michael X himself was hanged in Trinidad in 1975, but his file still remains closed until 2054. Though the robbery made the headlines, it quickly died down only after a few days. What was really behind all this? Well, that's left for the viewer to speculate. After all, that's part of the entertainment.

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