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'The Bank Job' starts slow, but gets better

EDITOR'S NOTE - Film Fans runs in the Friday Weekend section of the Gwinnett Daily Post. It features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "The Bank Job." Want to be a Film Fan? E-mail features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

3 stars out of 4

A British film starring Jason Statham and an extremely talented, although unfamiliar, ensemble cast of British actors, the story is based on actual events from 1971 London, when a band of common criminals robbed the safe deposit vault at Lloyds Bank, unaware that they were helping the British government retrieve blackmail photos of a member of the royal family.

Similar to "The Italian Job," only better, the action starts after the robbery, as the robbers are hunted by everyone from drug smugglers to a vicious porn king to MI5. The action was good, but not overdone, the acting was excellent, and the characters were all engaging and believable.

Extremely entertaining, but definitely not for kids.

- Steve Kalberg, Lawrenceville

2 1/2 stars out of 4

The fact that this is based on real events makes it very intriguing. It is a refreshing crime drama with no car chases, fancy special effects or heroes/villains with superhuman abilities; it is all story. The '70s feel is so authentic it seems as though you are actually watching a movie that was made 37 years ago, but without the dated feel, which is an accomplishment.

There is some nudity, sexuality and violence, and it also has a few comedic moments. For those looking for a fast-paced, action-packed thriller, note that the pace of this movie is slow but steady with a very satisfying ending.

- Francine Benoit, Lawrenceville

2 stars out of 4

Better than "The Transporter," "The Bank Job" was still a disappointment. The filmmakers relied on the Jason Statham "hot factor" for the film's success. What they failed to realize is that the star hasn't had a hit in quite some time. Therefore, they needed to make a hot movie rather than resting their hopes in the hotness of the star.

This was most disappointing because the script had great potential. All of the elements necessary for good moviemaking were present, except good moviemaking. If you like films about bank heists, rent "Dog Day Afternoon" or "The Inside Man."

- Pedro E. Alvarado, Lawrenceville