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Blu-ray Review: The Bank Job

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Despite the ridiculous critical claim on the front of the box which states The Bank Job is “everything action fans could want,” this is not the usual Jason Statham outing. In fact, the only action is limited to one scene late in the film that doesn’t even qualify this as an action film. This is a thrilling heist film, and a fine one at that.

Based on a true story that’s so complex it’s hard to believe, The Bank Job begins slowly. In fact, much of seems pointless or unnecessary. That all changes when every piece of the film becomes critical.

If you’re not paying attention, Bank Job may come off as confusing. It throws a lot of characters at the viewer, sometimes with only limited information. All of them have a purpose in this complex and deep saga in some form. It’s fascinating to see how a clean getaway can suddenly begin to spiral downhill and at such a breath taking pace.

The bank robbery itself is handled well, with small doses of tension built in out of necessity. Director Roger Donaldson makes people digging through dirt under the vault intriguing and fun. The performances, including Statham, may not be top tier but they’re effective enough to keep the plot moving believably. Some of the London-specific dialogue may be lost on US viewers, but it doesn’t affect the story and ensures authenticity.

While some may be drawn in with the overbearing picture of Statham and the action quote on the cover, they’ll be pleasantly surprised with this complex bank robbery tale in the end regardless of the expectations. This is pure entertainment, and for those with knowledge of the actual events, this will be an even stronger film.

Bank Job is a muted film in terms of its looks. That means it could never have the “pop” of the best Blu-rays out there, although this is still an admirable transfer. Since the color is muted, flesh tones come off in a variety of shades and tones, and none of them are particularly accurate. Aside from that, the sharpness of the transfer is impressive, and detail is reasonably high, if not striking. Black levels are strong and consistent. There are no noticeable instances of artifacting.

As usual, Lionsgate goes all out for a DTS-HD 7.1 mix. While the film is lacking in action or any demo sequences, it offers an impressive sound field. Shots inside a club are loaded in all possible channels with ambient noise. The same goes for less demanding sequences in relatively low noise environments, like restaurants. Tunneling under the ground you’ll hear the jackhammer move around depending on its position to the appropriate channel. Bass is rather limited, negated to the soundtrack for the most part. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s a quietly effective audio presentation.

Extras begin with a commentary from Roger Donaldson, Saffron Burrows, and composer J. Peter Robinson. They have few qualms about pointing out the difference between the film and actual story, which leads into a fun 15-minute featurette about the actual robbery. Inside the Bank Job is the expected making-of, and six minutes of deleted/extended scenes round off the disc, with the usual exception of trailers.

For the underground scenes, Aldwych station was chosen. The true location, Tottenham Court Road station, looks nothing like it did during the period of the heist.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://www.iopticsvisual.com Dana

    My short review of this movie is that I liked it. I like Jason Statham, especially in the driver movies. I give it 3 out of 5 stars