Friday, April 11, 2008

The Bank Job

I was a Jason Statham fan quite a while ago. I thought The Transporter (2002) was very entertaining. Unsurprisingly the sequel was less good...but he was solid. It was script problems that dragged it down. He was in a lot of movies in between of course, but the next "big" role for him was in the bizarre Crank (2006) in which he was fantastic...the story was a bit stupid but he made it work. Speaking of stupid but making it is it possible to make Crank II (2009) when the protagonist know...dead? Some sort of prequel? Anyhow, he continued to choose curious roles such as the lead in the almost great but actually pathetic In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) and sometimes to match up his talent with a great script. War (2008) comes to mind as it was wildly entertaining.

In short, I enjoy the characters he plays...he just makes some interesting script choices. But, and for Hollywood bean counters this is important...I STILL GO SEE HIS FLICKS! Even when they look bizarre...I knew going in that In the Name of the King was going to be a train wreck but still went to see it.

Well, The Bank Job (2008) is another in that category. It is part of the ever-lame "true crime" genre. For whatever reason I elected to go see it.

Terry Leather (Jason Statham) is a small-time hood who gets picked by Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) to pick off a bank. She needs the bank hit so she can get some incriminating photos of British royalty. Unfortunately, that same bank has the blackmail photos that keep militant Michael X (Peter de Jersey) safe, it has the ledger books showing all the corrupt Scotland Yard police, it has illicit sex photos of various high-ranking government Leather and his gang are the targets of every scofflaw in London seemingly. His friend Dave Schilling (Daniel Mays) and a couple other minor gang members are killed in the attempts to recover the various bits of incriminating evidence but by the end Terry, Martine, and a couple others make a deal to get new names, keep the money, and turn in all the crooked cops with the inference that they will now all "go straight" and lead good lives. Uh-huh.

This movie is notable for a few things. One would be its place as one of a growing number of recent movies where cigarette smoking is rehabilitated as being something the "cool good guys" do. Another would be the strong acting of Statham. Sadly, one thing it is NOT notable for is being entertaining. It verges on being entertaining and promises great just never delivers.

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