okay, so this isn't a new movie. I'm so totally panic-attacking life, I don't even want to think about movies. It will just make me more depressed. Unless you want to do my Ventilation Final Project Cost Accounting Estimates. That will be more than a movie length of time. Really, it's interesting!
"Based on a True Story". Well, I am willing to believe more of the story is true than just scandalous photos of Princess Margaret. And I'm perfectly willing to believe the English government behaves rather insanely when it comes to "protecting the image" of the royal family. God, do they actually think they have a sterling image? You'd think no one could ever imagine them doing anything stupid. Broad Street must be running on cold fusion, if it isn't the rich and famously stupid. Anyway ...
This was the cat's meow. Gripping on the edge of your seat suspense by the end of the movie. Who's going to live? Because by then we realize maybe they aren't all going to. Will his wife ditch him? Did he really do that in the middle of a bank heist? Wow. Will they manage to pull this off? How badly are they really being screwed? How much of this is true?
The background bad guy is some Black Panther-esque Caribbean fellow who's got compromising photos of someone in the royal family, and is using them as blackmail to keep the English gov't off himself. (The events leading to the photos are the only sex you see in the movie, designed to grab your attention at the opening credits.) The undercover agent sent to infiltrate his group plays the epitome of the late-60s "I'm Going to Show My Support to the Oppressed to Annoy my Bourgeois White Parents" white women who flung themselves into bed with Latino Communists or Black Panthers. She deserved recognition for her acting.
The basic plot: a bunch of small-time crooks are lured into a major bank job in London c. 1970. This isn't really all that original. Even Statham in a bank job isn't original. What is enjoyable is simply how it's presented. The crime boss in the back, with his fingers throughout the plot; the fact that one of the crooks was a small-time porn star; the leader's (Jason Statham) wife actually knows he was a crook...
The major suspense mechanism during the bank job appears anachronistic. In today's world of global positioning cell phones, trying to find a pair of hand-held walkie talkies seems de classe: and yet, is likely far less traceable than a cell phone. Definitely fun.
3 - Buy your own on video.
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