Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows
Dave: I’ve got a question. What do we do with all the dirt we’re gonna dig out of the hole?
Kevin: It’s all been worked out, Dave. We’ll dig another hole in that corner over there and put it in that.
Martine (Burrows) is coerced by the British government into recruiting a team of thieves, led by Terry (Statham), to break into a bank and steal incriminating pictures of a British royal. Terry’s team thinks it’s just a bank robbery and go along with it, unaware of the seriousness of the situation.
Apparently this is based on a true story which took place in 1971. I’m sure it’s amped up a little bit to make it more exciting, but it plays out in a fairly believable way, at least compared to the over-dramatics of most heist movies. That’s not to say it’s particularly original though. In fact, the first half of it is a by the numbers bank robbery movie. There’s typical editing, typical music, standard scenes of the team being recruited, and the usual brushes with police while they tunnel their way towards the bank.
The movie improves in the second half when the proverbial s*** hits the fan. The robbery is successful, but then the team is pursued by various people with a vested interest in finding the robbers and getting their stolen possessions back. While somewhat confusing at times, I found this portion of the film to be much more interesting than the standard bank robbery set up in the first half.
Statham is playing the same role as always, of course. Though, this time he has a wife and kids to worry about. Burrows is a little bit dull and mostly just there to be the temptress that gets the plot rolling. The rest of the actors and characters are fine, but as usual in these kinds of movies, there’s just so many of them that you never really feel very attached to anybody. The movie jumps from scene to scene so often, it’s hard to get any real character development going.
Even though I felt like I’d seen most of this movie’s elements before, the more intriguing second half put it a notch above similar movies, but it’s still not one of my favorite film genres. There’s only so many ways you can make a bank robbery and its aftermath interesting, and this movie only succeeds partially.
If you’re gonna commit a crime, be careful about using walkie-talkies to communicate. You never know who’s listening in.
10 – 1.5 because the genre just doesn’t interest me that much – 1.3 for a slow first half – .7 for a general lack of character development – .2 for a couple confusing moments = 6.3