Martine offers Terry a lead on a foolproof bank hit on London's Baker Street. She targets a roomful of safe deposit boxes worth millions in cash and jewelry. But Terry and his crew don't realize the boxes also contain a treasure trove of dirty secrets - secrets that will thrust them into a deadly web of corruption and illicit scandal.
Business is slow for Terry Leather, a London car dealer, married with children. He's an artful dodger, so Martine, a former model with a thing for him, brings him her scheme: a bank's alarm is off for a couple weeks, so let's tunnel into the vault. He assembles a team, not realizing her real goal is a safe-deposit box with compromising photos of a royal: she needs the photos to trade for avoiding a jail sentence - and MI-5, or is it MI-6, is pulling the strings two steps removed. A Trinidadian thug, a high-end bordello owner, and a pornographer also have things stored in the vault, so the break-in threatens many a powerful personage. Is there any way these amateurs can pull it off? Written by
A shot of the exterior of Baker St. station includes a glimpse of the upper section and roof of a London bus driving by at speed. However, it is possible to deduce from the 'straight' rectangular shape of the bus' roof that it is one of the new generation of front-entry buses, possibly the DMS series, first introduced in London in the mid-70s. Prior to this time, the most common double decker buses in London were the Routemaster (RM), introduced in the early 1960s, and the ubiquitous RT, the definitive London Bus, first introduced in the mid 1940s, both of these bus types having narrower roofs with rounded edges. So there is no way that the bus in this particular shot could have existed in 1971. See more »
[while drilling a mileage meter back]
Another Terry Leather low mileage here.
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Disclaimer: "The names of many people identified in this film have been changed to protect the guilty." See more »
"History of Jamaica"
Written by Erlando Neil & Nkrumah Manley Thomas
Performed by Early B
Notting Hill Music Ltd/Rufus Music Ltd
Administered by Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd
Licensed Courtesy of Acid Jazz Records See more »
Sporting complex consequences for a relatively straightforward plot, The Bank Job remains intriguing throughout as each set-up leads to ever more suspenseful twists for the likable group of ragtag antiheroes. Over-thorough character introductions cause a slower build in the early stages of the heist, but such complications likely arise from fewer liberties taken with the "based on a true story" events, and the result is a fascinating look at criminals, the corrupt, and those least guilty.
It is 1971 in East London and a fateful bank robbery begins to take shape. In order to remove the threat of radical gangster Michael X, government officials devise a plan to rob a bank on Baker Street and retrieve damning photographs from his possession. To keep the heist untraceable back to them, an independent group of thieves, led by car dealer Terry (Jason Statham) and the cunning Martine (Saffron Burrows) are unwittingly thrown into a deadly battle against corrupt officials and London's criminal underworld.
Jason Statham isn't your typical leading man, yet ever since Guy Ritchie's early films he has managed to keep coming back with bigger and better roles and is now thought of as an action film star. However it's here, in darker thrillers, that he finds a more sincere presence, especially as thief and scoundrel Terry. Each moral flaw creates a more dimensional character, and one worth rooting for.
The language of the film is genuinely intriguing, as it captures wonderfully wry British slang. Cheeky sod, 12-inch mutton dagger, a bit of bother, usual skullduggery and things turning a-custard are but a few of the verbal jousts that occur between the main characters. Devoid of euphuisms, these apparently authentic words make the dialogue a particularly potent piece of the puzzle.
The entire subplot about Michael X and his blackmailing of the British government is useful in its supposed tie to facts, but as filmed scenes in the movie, they are hardly necessary. Photographs of a princess caught in the act of promiscuity are at the root of the blackmail plot, which then goes on to include further damaging materials from Sonia Bern's brothel, also of factual importance, but equally unnecessary in the film. Michael X's involvement could have been entailed in a briefing by the 506 crew, who spill out the usual generic explanations of villains, and even Bern's entanglement could have been narrated through the details of the photos. While most of these moments have their entertainment value, essentially they serve to drag out the film's running time.
They say truth is stranger than fiction, and The Bank Job definitely falls into that category. Pimps, thieves, spies, and government officials all collide in a robbery gone right and then terribly wrong, lending the inquisitive to ponder over how much (or little) is fabricated in this thriller. The robbery itself is merely the setup to an intricate conclusion, even though the film takes time to create plenty of suspense throughout the not-so-carefully planned heist. Though the people making demands continually change, our attention is always seated with Jason Statham's unusually intense performance. When the credits roll and the explanation that "the names have been changed to protect the guilty" flashes on screen, we realize what a delightfully flourished yet entertaining tale of "doing the wrong thing" The Bank Job really is.
The Massie Twins
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