Thursday, August 07, 2008

REVIEW: The Bank Job

The Bank Job

Year: 2008
Director: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, Richard Lintern
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA: Rated R

When The Bank Job initially hit theaters this year, I wasn't too interested in it. I mean it looked like a good fun movie, but I just wasn't compelled to watch it. What I did find fascinating was that the movie was based on a true story. The movie also did well in theaters by grossing an estimated $45 million worldwide on a budget of only $20 million. It got mostly positive reviews from critics and people who have seen the movie. So why didn't I see this film in theaters? I guess I must have not looked into it. I guess waiting for the DVD release was the option I had opted for.

Plot Outline:
Terry Leather (Jason Statham) isn't making it as a car salesman and has debts to pay to the crime world. He meets an old sweetheart Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) who proposes that Terry and his friends rob a bank that is due for security repairs. Martine just happens to be working with a fellow who wants some rusty photographs of Princess Margaret in questionable sexual scenes and has Martine setup the 'easy heist'. Terry and friends agree to the venture and begin to burrow into the bank vault under cover of night and clever means. Once Terry, Martine and friends successfully achieve their goal, all manner of complications occur that involves the police and governmental corruption.

The story of The Bank Job is actually pretty good. The story is loosely based on a true life robbery of a Lloyds Bank in London. The film isn't a 100% telling of how it happened with some certain things changed here and their, but it comes close. The premise of the movie is great and makes for an interesting plot. The movie also becomes pretty entertaining as we see Terry and his gang breaking in on this bank. I enjoyed the plot twists and found the pacing of the movie to be pretty good. The film also mixes in a right amount of comedy and suspense that should keep you interested at all times. Sure their are some areas that tend to drag alittle here and their, but its solid for the most part. My one complaint I have about this movie is that theirs simply too much stuff going on. I mean we have the general story of Terry and his bank job, but we also get introduced to another side story. In the end, it feels like the writers had alot of ideas, but tried to cram them together. That and I also didn't like director Donaldson's somewhat wobbly direction.

The cast for the film is pretty solid. Jason Statham plays as Terry Leather and he does his usual thing. I think he was good in his role, but kind of made the cast seem alittle uneven. I still enjoyed his work in this film and thought he was the right man for the job. Saffron Burrows plays as Martine Love in the movie. She does a fairly good job in her role, but I didn't find her character to be memorable or interesting. She doesn't share much chemistry with Statham's character, but I still found her role to be generally decent. Stephen Campbell Moore plays as Kevin Swain and hes somewhat decent in this role. He doesn't break out from anyone else and give us something to remember him for, but still pretty decent work. We also have Daniel Mays playing as Dave Shilling and he too gives a somewhat decent performance, but I did like his character more than Moore's. I generally liked his performance and found it interesting.

The visual look of The Bank Job is pretty great. The film doesn't consist of any film grain that I detected. The films source seems pretty clean and smooth. Color on the other hand is somewhat of a problem. The directors bleak color palette for the film doesn't make for much color. I mean I think it made the movie have a cool overcast feel to it, but it also doesn't flush out enough color to make the film look wonderful. Their are a few scenes in the movie that offer generally a good amount of color, but these are mostly near the end. On the other hand, the detail is pretty is great. Close up shots show a good amount of detail and clarity. You can literally see a good amount of wrinkles on some of the characters. Flesh tones also seem realistic and natural.

The soundtrack in The Bank Job is mighty impressive. The movie doesn't feature a memorable score nor does it sound like it even has one. The good thing is that the movie consists of good amount of music that seem to go well with the story. Their aren't many of them, but for the scenes that do have, they sound good. The Bank Job also features a surprisingly strong bass. I honestly wasn't expecting much in terms of bass on this, but I was proven wrong. Its aggressive when it needs to be and definitely loud. Dynamics hold up well and the bass goes all around instead of just coming from the front. I wouldn't go as far as to say the soundtrack in The Bank Job is reference material, but it surely comes close.

The Bank Job is a great entertaining movie that should please those seeking some fun. The story is pretty good and is based on a true story. Sure theirs alot going on and some scenes can tend to drag, but a good story overall. The cast is fairly good with Jason Statham playing an enjoyable role that I personally liked. The visual look of the movie is pretty bleak and isn't eye popping like some other films in the same league, but it offers a good amount of detail. The soundtrack contains an impressive bass that was more than what I expected. The Bank Job isn't perfect, but its still a great movie. I would recommend it if your into heist movies because it certainly can be entertaining.

Grade: B-


Jaccstev said...

I think the same. This film is sure a good recommended. One of the best Jason Statham's film. I think this man becomes more and more busy nowadays, he's soon releasing two other films which are "Death Race" and "Transporter 3". But from what I've read, "Death Race" has got a lot of negative reviews.

Monique Elisabeth said...

I loved this movie! I thought it was a delighful surprise twist on a run of the mill genre. But I'm not sure it will play as well on DVD, cuz it could make the story seem smaller and less impressive than it was.

Farzan said...

I agree with you Jaccstev that this film is great, but Im not sure its Stathams's best. I have also heard of Death Race's bad reviews. It looks like its getting the same reviewes that Doomsday got. Which ended up sucking, but was still somewhat fun to watch.

I thought the film was great Monique, but maybe your right about seeing it on DVD. Maybe I should have seen it in theaters since most people get a much more better experience in theaters than at home on DVD.