In 'The Bank Job,' a used-car dealer and a motley crew of London criminals play into a shadowy, state-run plot.
The heist movie is one of my favorite genres. This is another way of saying that I am willing to cut a mediocre bank robbery movie more slack than, say, a mediocre ninja movie.
"The Bank Job" is several cuts above mediocre, so the slack expended is fairly minimal. The credits say that it is "inspired by" a true story – a come-on that is also a disclaimer. Although the characters' names have been changed and, in some cases, their identities fabricated altogether, the basic outline of this famous 1971 London heist – dubbed the "Walkie-Talkie Robbery" – is truthful.
The heist involved the looting of the safety deposit boxes in the main vault of Lloyd's Bank by a team of comparative amateurs led by a used-car dealer who, here, is given the flavorful monicker Terry Leather (Jason Statham). And they did it the old-fashioned way – by burrowing underground with pick-axes and shovels and blow torches.