The Bank Job is an often suspenseful and sleek crime movie which shows how a group of working class slumps exposed the scandalous nature of the rich, as both spooks and crims bay for their blood.
It is based on a fantastical and fascinating account of the 1971 Walkie Talkie Baker St. Robbery, entitled so due to the fact that the walkie talkie conversations between the brazen thieves and their lookout was picked up by a ham radio. A recording of said conversations were implemented in the script.
The film begins with former model Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) visiting her old neighbourhood. She informs ex-flame Terry Leather (Jason Statham) of the perfect heist, which involves the robbery of safe deposit boxes in the basement vault of Lloyd’s Bank. Terry assembles a crew of local misfits and leases a shop two door down from the bank where they proceed to dig a tunnel leading to the bank’s vault.
The robbery is a success with 4 million dollars worth of cash and jewels in their possession. But unbeknownst to them, among the spoils is enough incriminating evidence to not only damn the criminal underworld, but also shake the corridors of power.
Director Roger Donaldson achieves with The Bank Job what he tried to achieve with 2003’s The Recruit: a tight, on your toes thriller, backed by a great script by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and sharp editing by John Gilbert.
A choice cast deliver solid performances, with special mention to Jason Statham (the Bruce Willis of our generation), who does his blue collar hard man act and does it well, and Saffron Burrows whose statuesque frame adds a refined touch to her seedy surroundings.
There is an issue with certain segments of the score by J. Peter Robinson , which were too tencho driven for a film set in the 1970’s. But this flaw is countered by the films extremely interesting and enthralling back story, which has been tweaked enough by Donaldson and co. to make an engrossing and entertaining heist movie.