When Cash is Not the Endgame - TopTenMM Heist Movies

Nominee #20 - The Bank Job (2008)

Martine gets Terry, a car salesman, to form a gang and rob a bank but things get complicated when Terry finds out that he is dealing with powerful players who have their eyes on the vault's contents.


Roger Donaldson Writers:

Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais Stars:

Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore

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Blu - Ray

Jason Statham stars in this fictionalised account of a 1971 Baker Street robbery in central London. The robbery of cash and jewellery from the bank is the last of the problems for the crew of criminals. It is the removal of compromising photographs of a member of the royal family and a ledger of police payoffs that rattles the police and the crime world. The fallout is more than anyone bargained for. A thoroughly entertaining heist thriller!

Fictionalised version all right but boy, can they make it look and feel real. The movie is very British but streetsmart-Brit not classy-Brit, with shooting at Baker Street and famed London Underground and rail stations.

The accents came clipped and course - Saffron Burrows (the salty scientist in Deep Blue Sea), David Suchet (once, the irrepressible Hercule Poirot). Even Mick Jagger features briefly as one of the bank staff. And more than a smattering of theatre and stage talent on show.

A thoroughly entertaining heist thriller!

What raises the stakes is not just the daring nature of the heist, robbing a bank literally from under its nose but also British Intelligence scurrying around to protect state secrets (Royal family, in Britain) and British police their own.

Can you believe there’s really a disclaimer in the credits that says: the names of many people identified in this film have been changed to protect the guilty!

There’ve been so many movies based on real-life heist-masters (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Bonnie and Clyde) but this one revolves more around the more-or-less real-life story of the heist and less on the principals involved. In that sense The Bank Job has less drama, less spectacle is more matter-of-fact, more deadpan but it’s far grittier. It offers an up-close, insider view of weeks of scheming, counter-scheming, tipping off and counter tipping off, tunnelling, a rooftop look-out, enticing safe deposit boxes, not all of which contain money.

When the real story broke, decades ago, the British tabloids agonised over how much of it was fact and how much fiction. Thankfully the racy script makes the movie a fast-paced action and thrill ride with the typical British heist twists and turns. In the end, you don’t really care which bits are fact and which fiction. Statham, superbly cast, clearly had the chops for this sort of a grimy thriller and it shows.

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