I wonder if Jason Statham gets tired of playing roguish burglars and assassins. If so, that’s too bad, since three of his next four films have him doing the same schtick over and over again. Well, he’s good at it, and I suppose not much different from other action heroes in that regard.
In The Bank Job, he’s a lower class swindler–a used car salesmen in debt with the local loan shark–who is tempted by the very tempting Saffron Burrows into pulling a heist on a Baker Street bank.
Pretty ballsy, if you ask me, to knock over a bank four blocks down from Sherlock Holmes.
The movie is based on an actual heist that occurred in 1971, news of which was suppressed via a D-Notice, which is apparently something you get when you don’t have a First Amendment.
Anyhow, the filmmakers posit that the gov’t had a “black power” radical cold for drug smuggling but couldn’t bust him because he had compromising photos of Princess Margaret so they needed to steal those photos without looking like they were stealing those photos, and hence used an outside crew. (This is all made relatively clear in the first time-bouncy-10 minutes.)
As it turns out there’s lots of other bad stuff in the vault, and our bank robbers end up under the gun of a lot of unsavory characters. Many of whom are employed by the crown.
There’s probably as much reality in this as there was in, say, Murder by Decree. But it was well acted and paced nicely. There was some confusion (at least in my mind) about Jason’s relationship with Saffron. The crew finds their way into the vault and decides to break then to sleep. (It’s a little far-fetched, but they had been up for 36 hours by this point.)
Anyway, the two end up meeting in the vault and having a romantic interlude. Are we supposed to, at that point, think that they had sex? It seems improbable, but a later scene with the wife suggests that is what happened.
A minor nit. This is a fun ‘70s-era flick–without all the ridiculous costumes that are usually omnipresent in a movie based on this time period–that keeps the suspense up till the end. More sex (mostly implied) and nudity than your average heist flick, I thought, though it all related back to the (rather involved) plot.
But eventually, we’re gonna wear out on these types of roles, Handsome Rob.