Monday, August 04, 2008

Ms Batville at the movies: The Bank Job

Went to see this over the weekend. Not a bad little English crime caper - the sort of film that Guy Ritchie might have made if he hadn't lost his mojo starring at Madonna's oddly stretched face.

The plot is supposedly based on a true story. The British Secret Service, through the very gaunt and underfed Saffron Burrows, engage a bunch of petty crims to rob a bank vault in order to recover incriminating photographs of a British Royal. We are supposed to guess the royal is Princess Margaret. The crims manage to stumble upon some other secrets, and buy themselves a whole lot of trouble.

The acting is pretty good throughout, although one worried that Burrows might faint at a key moment through lack of food. Guest spots from a whole lot of those British actors with interesting faces that you see on great BBC dramas plus a small role from the guy who was in To the Manor Born. Sadly however there was no Penelope Keith. (Come to think of it, a gritty crime caper with Penelope Keith in a guest role might be something for Guy Ritchie to consider.)

The plot is interesting but the dialogue is a tad too reminiscent of an episode of Minder at times, possibly because of the number of women whimpering "It was always you Terry" at a balding petty car dealer whose supposed sex appeal is a complete mystery to me. The term "villains" is used a bit too often and suggests that the screenwriters were not taking the thing too seriously. There is a bit of violence and action to keep the boys interested. Impressively the film opens with a pumping loud Get it On from T-Rex, which can never be a bad thing.

Overall, the film is a good way to spend a few hours, but this one won't change your life. In five years you will stumble across this on TV, ponder the strange outdated period when women like Saffron Burrows had trout-pouts, watch it for a bit and then change the channel. After that you will forget it completely.

*** out of *****