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The Bank Job

Narrative Review

Inspired by the true story of a 1971 London bank heist that goes terribly wrong, "The Bank Job" has it all: corruption, sex scandals, political intrigue, murder.

Despite all of those wonderfully evil things, the film never takes off.

Jason Statham stars as Terry, a car dealer barely making ends meet. Martine (Saffron Burrows), a friend from the old neighborhood, brings Terry a foolproof plan to rob a bank. Terry is torn because he has a family, but the need to provide a better life leads him to get the old gang back together and pull off this "sure-fire" heist.

But as we all know, no bank heist is easy. Martine has some secrets up her sleeve, plus the royal family -- and every criminal and politician in London, or so it seems -- has something valuable within the targeted vault.

The problem with "The Bank Job" is that it's not really about the bank job. As it turns out, the actual robbery is easy -- it's what comes after that's intriguing. But the film takes way too long to get to the dirty, intense aftermath.

This is more drama and acting than Statham is used to. He only uses his fists once, and it feels like it's thrown in, almost as if director Roger Donaldson realized the audience is used to seeing him in "Transporter" and "Crank." The most amusing part was seeing Burrows tower over Statham whenever the two walked down the street together.

Plus, I know that this crew trying to pull off the heist isn't used to this level of work, but at what point does it sound like a good idea to break into a bank and then take a group nap? And while nothing much happens to put people on the edge of their seats, the camera angles and background music try to fool us into thinking something tense is happening.

"The Bank Job" isn't bad, but it can't find a rhythm between being based on a true, ugly story and trying to be a fun bank heist film.

"The Bank Job"

Final Score: 5 out of 10

Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Richard Lintern and Stephen Campbell Moore

Directed by: Roger Donaldson

Other: A Lionsgate release. Rated R (sexual situations, nudity, violence, language). Running time: 110 minutes.

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