Many heist movies are based on true stories, from The Brinks Job to The Great Train Robbery (the 1979 film about a Victorian-era heist, starring Sean Connery as the roguish mastermind). Such films tend to place the heist in a larger historical context, one that tends to emphasize how the turmoil of the times allows the thieves to be seen as folk heroes.
In this case, the tale of the 1971 Baker Street robbery in London touches on the social upheavals of the late 1960s, complete with sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and even a hint of royal scandal (the robbers looted some safe deposit boxes that allegedly contained compromising photos of Princess Margaret). In fact, the movie’s producers claimed that a British government gag order had kept the full story from being told for nearly 40 years. The calm eye at the center of this storm belongs to Jason Statham, who’d launched his career is Guy Ritchie caper comedies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch as the lone smart-and-cool guy amid a London underworld populated by dimwits and loose cannons. These days, Statham is a grimly efficient bonebreaker in action films like The Expendables and the recent Parker, but if you want to see him play someone thoughtful, this is your movie.
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