The Bank Job (2008)

(In theaters, March 2008) This old-school heist drama has everything it takes and a little bit more: A true premise, a capable hero (Jason Statham), a lovely girl (Saffron Burrows), good dialog, several twists, national secrets, at least three sets of villains and a gritty old-fashioned seventies film-making atmosphere. From black nationalists to organized criminals to MI6 officials to kinky royal family members, this slick and efficient crime drama is pure old-fashioned entertainment, down to the occasional nudity and the straight-ahead plotting from beginning to end. It sometimes falters when it tries to keep close to reality (the “informant” thread is a bit of a let-down, for instance), but the rest is as good as this type of film ever gets. I’ll let others pick apart the ratio of truth-to-fiction in this film “based on a true story”, but even those who know nothing about the “Walkie-Talkie Robbery” will get a kick of of it.

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