Genius writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais of “Porridge” fame teamed up with director Roger Donaldson and stars Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows and Stephen Campbell Moore, along with other famous names like David Suchet, Alki David and Peter Bowles for this slick and funny heist movie.
Jason Statham is Terry Leather, a car dealer in London, married, with a family to support and a rapidly dwindling income. The writing is on the wall for him until Martine, an ex model, who has always held a candle for him waltzes into his life once more and informs him that she knows of a bank where the alarm will be turned off for a few weeks and suggests he assemble a team to tunnel into the vault.
What he doesn’t realise is that she is using him to her own advantage, there are several compromising photos of a member of the Royal Family in that vault which she needs to trade to MI5 in return for avoiding imprisonment. And they are not the only items of interest stored in that particular vault, so many very powerful and very dangerous people have an interest in seeing that it is not violated. Terry’s small gang of amateurs suddenly find themselves in deeper water than they ever bargained for.
What comes across as a gangster movie is actually a rather wonderful character piece and Jason Statham excels in his leading role of a man totally out of his depth, a chancer looking only to make a quick buck.
The rest of the cast provides superb backup and the script is well paced, slow when it needs to be with sudden flashes of action, energy and drama. Saffron Burrows is another standout as the manipulative Martine. The plot is intelligent and well thought out, and keeps the audience riveted until the final act, exactly as you would expect from such big name writers. This is an absolute must see, balancing high comedy with flat out action and suspenseful drama, all brought to life by an expert and brilliant cast.
Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows and Stephen Campbell Moore
Release Date: 28 February 2008 (UK)