Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Bank Job. C+

'The Bank Job' is better than you might expect. With it's generic title and front-line action star Jason Statham in the lead, the movie on paper looks like it could be really lame. Gladly it's not. For Jason Statham, this is relatively decent work compared to his recent outings such as 'Revolver,' 'Transporter 3,' and 'In the Name of the King.' Though the movie ultimately fails to live up to its solid start, it's still a reasonably intelligent, and very entertaining heist flick. Based on a true story, the film centers around Terry (Statham), an automobile worker who is summoned by the beautiful Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) to rob a bank. Terry needs the money and it seems like a pretty simple job. Together they assemble a team of experts and dig an underground tunnel leading to the bank's vault. Once they reach the vault Terry finds some very secret photographs that Martine's after. We already can guess that this more than a basic heist. That it's not just about the money. Terry is just finding out how convoluted it's all about to become. The movie is under two hours, so it doesn't have a lot of time to wrap up all the details (and believe me, there are a lot of them). And that's actually a problem. The second half moved along too quickly as it tried to cram in all these backstories and dirty little secrets. I was confused by what was happening and actually started to lose some interest in the whole thing. However, I liked little bits and pieces of the film. Statham was born to play this kind of role, and gives his all as Terry. And the good thing is that Terry's not one-dimensional like so many characters in heist movies are. He's got issues of his own as he tries to deal with his upset family amidst the chaos and confusion. I also thought Saffron Burrows was great, especially in the scenes she shares with Statham. Another cool thing about the movie is that, as I mentioned, it's based off a true story. While a lot of what we see on screen is fictionalized, the robbery itself really happened. I think the film would have tried to be more accurate if there was more information on the actual heist. But to my knowledge the data is pretty scarce. I enjoyed the movie, but I'm undecided on whether to recommend it or not. Fans of heist movies will probably like it, even if it doesn't offer anything new. If you don't like the genre, I doubt you'll like this. If you're neutral to it like I am, then you'll probably be right there in the middle.

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