Posted at 5:50 PM on April 6, 2008
by Euan Kerr
A well-made heist movie is always fun, and one that takes a poke at the British establishment: what could be better?
"The Bank Job" which slipped into movie theaters a couple of weeks back is well worth the price of admission, mixing as it does a great cast (Jason Stratham, Saffron Burrows and David "Poirot" Suchet,) with a tightly written script by Dick Clement and Ian La Fresnais.
These latter gentlemen have been a staple of British TV and film for as long as I can remember, working on such classics as "The Likely Lads" and "Porridge," comedies which set the standard on British TV.
The story behind "The Bank Job" is that it is based on a real life bank robbery in early 1970's London. The heist was discovered by a ham radio operator who overheard the criminals as they broke into a bank. However the police were unable to work out which bank they were robbing until well after the villains had scarpered.
To complicate matters, there were some compromising photographs of a member of the Royal Family in one of the safety deposit boxes. News of the robbery was quoshed by a government order after a few days as word spread of the embarrassing nature of what had been taken. Some of the documents involved in the case have been sealed until 2054.
Dick Clement and Ian La Fresnais say their story is based on information from a man who talked with two of the robbers involved. They also admit that while the story names real names, they have fabricated some of the story.
The delightful question is, just how much? And of course the follow-up would be, what other stories are there lurking in the files of the Metropolitan police, MI5 and/or MI6 which may come to light in the future?
And then there's that third huge question: just how does Jason Stratham manage to have a three day stubble which never grows or recedes during a story which apparently lasts a couple of weeks?