The Bank Job

Jason Statham’s latest is much less crunk than Crank -- 1.5 stars

Directed by Roger Donaldson. March 2008, UK. R: 111 min.

(Originally published in buzz magazine on 3/8/2008)

T&A of almost Eye Wide Shut proportions abounds in this based-on-true-events film about a group of petty thieves and novices who chiseled through half a city block’s worth of solid rock and concrete in order to rob a London bank vault in 1971. Sounds possible, right? Everything’s been done at one point or another. Oddly enough, this is one story that seems more believable before you see the movie than after.

The ragtag band of thugs has no chemistry whatsoever. Terry Leather (Jason Statham) presumably knows all of the hoods in his group fairly well, even if most of them never met each other before, yet his attempts at producing an authentic sense of camaraderie and leadership hearken back more to the wooden acting of Hayden Christensen in Star Wars and Keanu Reeves in The Matrix than, say, George Clooney in Ocean’s 11. Add to that the idiocy of using public HAM radios to communicate between the lookout and the drilling team and the utter lack of common sense in calling for naptime right after finally breaching the vault. Long story short, The Bank Job produces even more sighs per hour than the whole lot of Chicago Bears’ quarterbacks put together. Nothing in this movie fits together. Nothing. The producers and director Roger Donaldson must expect American audiences to just kind of gleefully clap their hands and eat their boogers while bare breasts flood the screen and British slang fills their ears.