Ken's Review: The Bank Job - Could Have Been Made For TV
by Ken Evans
March 9, 2008
As I write this I'm flying to Austin to cover the SXSW Film Festival with Alex. I wish I could have come off of a week seeing great movies that would have pumped me up for the festival. Too bad the last two films I saw were The Bank Job and 10,000 B.C., which instead of exciting me left me longing to watch a really good film. Hopefully SXSW doesn't disappoint and I'll be able to catch something that will make up for the let downs I have recently experienced.
The Bank Job, if you can believe it, is about a bank heist gone wrong and then right again. Terry Leather (Jason Statham) is hired by Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) to break into a local bank and steal the contents from the safe deposit boxes. Little does he know that Martine is being blackmailed by a government agency looking to obtain a picture of a member of the royal family in a compromising situation. Terry, along with his crew, follows through with the heist but ends up stealing more then he or Martine bargained for.
I understand that this is a film based on actual events, but just because this is a true story, or one based loosely on a true story, doesn't make it one worth telling, at least not the way they presented it. To be honest I was bored through most of the film. There was virtually no character development, which led to not caring about anyone. There was a poor attempt to add some depth to Statham's character by dealing with his feelings for Martine, while at the same time being married. This attempt at character depth felt so forced and out of place that it would have been better to leave it out. The story was rushed to the point that things were happening without any explanation as to why. Half of the crew hired to perform the heist seemed to serve no purpose. If this is a based on a true story it sure didn't feel like one.
When it came down to it the only real reason I wanted to see The Bank Job was because Jason Statham is in it. The problem with Statham is that I like him too much. He is always good but can never make up for how bad the movies he chooses actually are. Still, I'm a sucker for the attitude and swagger he brings to each of his films. Even after seeing War, Dungeon Siege, The Transporter 2, and The One, I'll still end up seeing anything he's in just because he's in it.
This is not the next Ocean's Eleven, Twelve or Thirteen. It is way more down to earth and realistic, but turns out to be extremely boring. This might have been story worth telling, but it wasn't told very well in this film. It felt like I was watching a made for TV movie but with a bit better quality. It's never good when you feel like you could be watching the same thing at home on cable.
This weekend turned out to be a horrible weekend for movies. Outside of Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day there isn't much I can recommend. I haven't seen CJ7 yet but I did love Shaolin Soccer so that might turn out good. I can only recommend The Bank Job for die-hard fans of bank heist films, although die-hard fans still might not like it too much. Hopefully Crank 2 will match Statham to a film that I will actually like.