CRIME DRAMA; 1hr 51min
STARRING: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows
On the job: Statham and Burrows
Robbing a bank for a quick financial fix is as much a cliché as it can be a fool’s errand. That doesn’t deter a gang of thieves who in 1971 hit the basement vault of a Lloyds Bank in London’s Baker Street, making off with squillions in cash and jewels — and some very sensitive material. How the gang members, a Dad’s Army of small-beer ne’er-do-wells, pull off the break-in and scarper, initially scot-free, with its highly volatile contents is as much an eye-opener as the whys behind the job.
As recounted in director Roger Donaldson’s canny interpretation of events, the two-bit burglars — captained by a sympathetically harassed Statham — are pawns in a cover-up involving, good God!, compromising photographs of a female Royal Family member that are stored in the vault. Knowing how the job goes down only adds buzz points to thickly twisted plot strands that knit crisply together in a grand-scale network extending from the seedy streets to the highest of political levels. Nice work, if you can get away with it.