The Bank Job ★★★
You’re in safe hands with this period British crime flick, written as it is by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (The Likely Lads, Porridge), and directed by Roger Donaldson (Thirteen Days, The World’s Fastest Indian). Based on real events – the 1971 Baker Street robbery in which a gang really did tunnel underground from a rented shop into a Lloyds bank – it has a caper-ish feel that’s underwritten by the producers’ claim that the story was covered up by MI5 at the time, owing to uncompromising photos of Princess Margaret in one of the bank’s safe deposit boxes. Whether this is new evidence or just PR-grinding hype doesn’t matter. Headed by Jason Statham, miraculously dialling down his musclehead heroics and rediscovering his Lock, Stock roots, The Bank Job has a likeable cast that also includes Saffron Burrows, Daniel Mays and, as a powerful Soho pornographer, Poirot himself David Suchet. The story is rich with corruption and period detail, the pop songs are well chosen and the action, though violent, is well handled.
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