The Bank Job
Jason Statham may never get too much traction in the States as an action star, but the man can certainly carry a British crime flick. As he did in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Statham excels in The Bank Job as a member of an amateur gang bent on making a big job. As a heist movie, The Bank Job is notably slim on planning machinations and dazzling gadgetry; the crew carries off a rather huge crime with a low-tech array of implements that would shame George Clooney's Ocean's team. Director Roger Donaldson pins most of the action and suspense on what happens after the robbery, and the majority of the plot unspools in the third act. This was wise on his part, since the movie is based on the true story of a 1971 bank robbery, and thus we know the money makes its way out of the vault. With just enough nail-biting moments and flashes of extreme violence to excuse its thin character sketches and tough-guy dialogue, The Bank Job manages to earn praise for exceeding the limited expectations of both its genre and its star.