The Bank Job

Rated 3.0

A heist picture with a small menagerie of quirky characters, several bursts of spectacular action, pell-mell plotting and storytelling, assorted superficial pleasures, a London setting, some nasty violence, and undercurrents of cynicism and sentimentality that leave an unpleasant aftertaste. None of that comes as much of a surprise in a movie marketed as another vehicle for the bullet-headed action-movie icon Jason Statham, but Roger Donaldson’s supercharged production occasionally seems to promise more than it really delivers. Statham, mostly likable here, plays the leader of a motley crew trying to loot the safety-deposit boxes in a prominent London bank. Multiple complications ensue as the scheme goes awry and yet still half-succeeds—in ways that open up a putative Pandora’s Box of social and political corruption, government cover-ups, blackmail schemes and national security flimflams. Saffron Burrows is conspicuously ornamental as the top woman in the case, romancing a secret agent, pursuing agendas of her own while trying to seduce Statham’s happily married thief.