The Bank Job | Chicago Reader

The Bank Job

Press materials say this British thriller was “inspired by” the September 1971 robbery of Lloyds Bank in London, but according to a March 2007 story in the Observer, screenwriters Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais drew on a “deep throat” informer familiar with the hushed-up case to “incriminate high-ranking police officers, the secret service, politicians, and a prominent member of the royal family.” The movie's heist plot tends toward the generic, with Jason Statham conned into assembling a crew of yobs to tunnel under the bank and rip off its safe-deposit boxes. But the elaborate conspiracy theory that unfolds around them, artfully choreographed by director Roger Donaldson (Thirteen Days), is fascinating: supposedly the crooks kept all the cash and jewelry, but their sponsors in the MI5 were really after sexually explicit blackmail photos of Princess Margaret and other aristocrats that were being held by the revolutionary Michael X. R, 110 min.

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