The Bank Job (2008)

The Bank Job is a good, old-fashioned heist movie. Jason Statham is surprisingly effective and restrained as Terry Southern a decent family man with a vague past who’s in trouble with the local goons. Out of the past pops Saffron Burrows, who was their Jenny from the Block before rising then crashing as a model. She pitches Terry a “one more time” crime that he and his friends know is too good to be true, but they do it anyway. A complicated mishmash ensues that includes corrupt police, MI-5, an angry madame, a porn king, a ham radio enthusiast, a black radical, an undercover agent, and a public figure who got caught, literally, with her pants down. Set in the 70’s, it’s reminded me of movies from that era, like The French Connection. There’s no excess of hand-held camera, tongue-in-cheek humor, or flashy jump cuts. This is a solid, enjoyable crime flick.

Quibbles and bits: Saffron Burrows has a distractingly chiseled and symmetrical face. I can’t find any mention online that she’s had plastic surgery, but her cleft chin and protuberant cheekbones looked suspicious to me. She also reminded me a lot of Padma Lakshmi, a judge on Top Chef. I kept waiting for her to tell recalcitrant gang members to pack their knives and go. Keeley Hawes, formerly of MI-5, does a sympathetic turn as Terry’s wife.

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