Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Bank Job

100% of voters chose The Bank Job over Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. So for the one brave soul who actually voted in my poll, this review is for you! I'm actually glad I saw The Bank Job over Miss Pettigrew because as I stood in line to purchase my ticket this morning, it was obviously that Miss Pettigrew was the "hot" ticket. Judging by the crowd buying tickets, it looked to a geek and geezer "date movie." Not that there's anything wrong with that and I'll probably see it eventually, but my preference for movie watching is the fewer possibilities of sharing a theater with inconsiderate asshats, the better.

Wouldn't you know, however, out of the dozen or so patrons spread out across the big theater, one latecomer cow of a woman plops herself down in the seat right in front of me. So I moved to a seat two rows in front of HER. The other odd thing was the speaker sound mix. The background sound was much louder than the foreground sound. Annoying. But fortunately it didn't affect my enjoyment or understanding of the movie too much although The Storys version of Money (That's what I want) playing over the closing credits was really off with the backup vocals coming in TWICE as loud as the main ones. Dear Broadway Loews/AMC, please adjust your speakers...

Anyway, this is your standard caper/heist movie with a bit of a twist. The first twist is that it is based on a true story. The second is that the amateurs were actually set up to perform the robbery in order to obtain compromising photos of a salacious nature taken of Princess Margaret. But not only do the robbers stumble upon the scandalous photos of the royal princess, but other illicit evidence as well. So what was supposed to be a straight-forward venture goes all awry and leads to a series of double and triple-crossings. It turns out when you factor in the crooked cops and corrupt politicians, our band of bandits may not be the "bad" guys after all.

Set in 1971, the soundtrack is filled with great music from T-Rex, Wilson Pickett and The Kinks. Jason Statham acquits himself nicely as Terry Leather, the leader of the operation. Saffron Burrows plays his former flame and one-time model who sets the whole thing up due to an agenda she's not sharing. (She looks gorgeous in this movie--sort of like Michelle Pfeiffer and Angelina Jolie's love child. Okay, that's not possible and I'm sure I've now set off a paroxysm of lesbian fantasies, but whatever...) The flick also features cameos by John Lennon and Yoko Ono lookalikes and someone who looks an awful lot like Mick Jagger playing a bank employee.

The movie is Ocean's Eleven if the eleven were actually seven and blue-collar British blokes instead slick American con artists. Add a dash of Snatch (both literally and figuratively), Layer Cake and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and you've got The Bank Job. If those movies are your cup of tea, this one will be too.

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