Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good Job

Did you think we were through with the caper films? No, we still had The Bank Job.

This one stars Jason Statham as an English spiv with a fancy car dealership, a family, some dodgy friends and big debts to bad people. It also stars Saffron Burrows as a ex-model who gets in trouble with the law and is given a chance to get out of it. You see, there is something in a bank vault that the government needs to get without any possible publicity. So if she and some of her friends will rob the bank, they can keep anything else they find. So she enlists her old friend Statham and his gang.

The story is based on a real bank robbery in 1971, where the private boxes were wiped out and only about 1 in 10 customers were willing to state what they had lost for insurance purposes. Much of the fun is in the behind the scenes government and society scrambling to keep the secrets a secret. The seventies setting is underplayed, although there are some little touches.

The caper itself is not that exciting - we've seen a lot of it before (including in Inside Man). I suppose that's partly because so many movies took details from the robbery this movie is based on. But the banter is great, a crash course in Spiv.

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