Slow beginning but brilliant pay off8/10
I'll be honest, I only saw The Bank Job because I had some free tickets for an advance screening, had I have not got these tickets I would not have bothered seeing it. The only trailer I had saw for it just didn't really appeal to me, I do enjoy Jason Statham movies, but this one seemed a bit serious in my eyes. Still I went today to the 6.30 screening and was surprised to enjoy it quite as much as I did. Admittedly for the first half hour I did get quite bored, the characters weren't really memorable and the set up seemed really dull. Thankfully when the heist gets under way, and especially the aftermath, the movie hits top gear and left me thrilled. The fact the movie is based on a true story still leaves me quite amazed, as the events that happen seem purely like the stuff that you see in the movies. How much of it is real and how much of it is purely to make it a better movie, a fight involving Statham I am certain didn't happen. The performances are surprisingly well rounded, Statham doing a brilliant job and the majority of the supporting cast getting some great scenes. Alas the movie does start to fall apart under close inspection, the plot is never concluded quite as well as I would have liked, and the movie does have some long stretches where not a lot is happening. If you can overlook this fact then you will a lot to enjoy in this very well made movie.
So onto the performances. As I have said Statham does a surprisingly admirable job in the film. When you look at his CV of films you realise he isn't exactly the most talented actor. In fact all he generally has to do is grumble and hit things a lot. But there is just no denying that the man has a hell of a lot of charisma, in this film he truly gets to display his acting skills. Of course on occasion he delivers a dodgy line, but then if you watch some of the smaller scenes with his characters wife you realise how much potential he has. If given the right material I am sure Statham can truly develop as an actor. Saffron Burrows is brilliant as the slightly suspicious Martine for the first half, unfortunately after the heist she has little to do and the character never felt fully concluded. Still she does have some great moments in the earlier part of the film. Daniel Mays runs off with the majority of the movie as Dave, in fact this looks set to launch Mays career a bit further, he has the best lines and is a funny character. Richard Lintern (who I have to confess I thought was Dougray Scott for half the film) is brilliant as the man behind the heist, in some way that is, and his character is one of the most rounded. Peter De Jersey as Michael X is menacing in his all too brief screen time, but like Martine his character never felt fully dealt with. Still he and the other chief villain, David Suchet, are quite menacing.
The Bank Job when advertised does come across as a typical gangster flick with a lot of humour in it. However when watching it I have to be honest and say it isn't that funny. There are a couple of lines here and there but the movie doesn't really make you laugh that much. Neither is it that big of a gangster flick, of course there are the local gangster running around, and the movie becomes more along that line towards the end. But for the majority of the film it comes across as a slightly grittier and far less flashy Ocean's Eleven. The scenes where they try to rob the bank are definitely some of the highlights, however its the final 45 minutes that stick firmly in mind. What happens after the robbery is just thrilling to watch, will they get away with it, won't they? Things also get a lot darker near the end, also quite violent one scene, or the idea of what was going to happen, made me wince a bit. The film is superbly directed as well, its not too flashy but there are some great shots in there. Unfortunately the music does start to irritate after a while, everything seems overdone, a scene which is meant to be funny is ruined because the music sounds like its from an action movie, it just doesn't truly suit the film all the time. Also as previously mentioned the beginning as well is quite boring.
Overall The Bank Job is a great movie that with a bit of fine tuning at the beginning could make it even better. If you want a smart thriller that will surprise you because of it being based on real events that I highly recommend this. Don't expect an all time classic though.