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Movie Review: The Bank Job

Alternate Title: Pandora's (Safe Deposit) Box

Story: A plotline that include murder, sex and corruption in high places has my name written all over it. The film incriminates high-ranking police officers, the secret service, politicians and a prominent member of the royal family. It can't get much juicier than that. Throw in some drug dealers, pimps, porn stars and Black Power activists and you have one hell of a story. Director Roger Donaldson with a screenplay by Dick Clement & Ian Lafrenais weave an entertaining multi-layered tale based on London's 1971 Baker Street bank robbery.

The premise is the real motivation for the robbery was that the Government was protecting the Royals because some incriminating photos of Princess Margaret were allegedly in a safe deposit box in that bank. An undisciplined band of street thugs and cons agrees to pull off the heist. The usually easy to follow bank caper becomes intricate when it appears that so many secrets are kept in these safe deposit boxes - all hell breaks loose when the robbery is discovered.

All of the characters are full-bodied and developed which is refreshingly new for a film of this genre. Be warned that the film does turn surprisingly dark towards the end. No money was ever recovered during the investigation, and no suspects were ever arrested. The real story is that it was one of the biggest heists in the UK and how a strict code of secrecy was enforced on all information related to the crime and the investigation. It seems as soon as the CIA, FBI, M5 or KGB get involved in a story the details get covered up. Sound familiar?

Acting: The entire cast was terrific including: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, James Faulkner, Alki David, Michael Jibson, Richard Lintern, Keeley Hawes, David Suchet

Predilection: I like capers.

Critters: None

Food: Take out chicken

Sex Spectrum: The opening shot is a blurry scene of an orgy taking place on a Caribbean Island. There are also some 'G' rated scenes from a brothel and a strip club.

Blatant Product Placement: VISA

Soundtrack: Some oldies, yet goodies from the 60's and 70's.

Opening Titles: The title appears after the blurry orgy scene. All credits at the end.

Visual Art: 1970's London is depicted nicely.

Theater Audience: 10 guys and me.

Weather: The weather was lovely.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: There are some squirmy moments towards the end.

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: I was not sure what was going to happen.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: Under two hours.