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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.89%
Worth A Look47.37%
Average: 21.05%
Pretty Bad: 15.79%
Total Crap: 7.89%

4 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Bank, The
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by Dust For Eyes

"Lots of interest"
4 stars

A suspenseful film about revenge marks the return of The Boys scriptwriter, Robert Connolly. The Boys was the ultimate Scary Movie even before studio execs with no imagination came up with the term. This time Connolly is directing, with David Wenham again taking one of the leads. Throw in Anthony LaPaglia, a super computer, some welcome revenge against the banks and we once again have winner of a film.

Banks will tell you that there have been plenty of new services introduced over the last decade. Itís true too - just as long as those services donít involve people to talk to or local branches.

Their, Greed Is (Still) Good, dictum disheartens us punters beyond belief so itís no wonder that the worldís research funds using ultra-mega-mecha supercomputers is not concentrated on, say, finding a cure for cancer, but instead is concentrated on making more money.

Which is where Simon (LaPaglia) comes in. Under pressure from heavies at the Centabank board, heís keen to find avenues for profit growth. He already sliced and diced the balance sheet last year so heís desperate for ideas for some stone bloodletting.

Along comes Jim (Wenham) with a claim that he can develop a computer model for the finance marketís Holy Grail - To predict a stock market crash. Simon has heard it all before and thinks itís all nonsense, but his desperation to find some profitability growth leads him to take on Jim. But why would Jim want to do this in first place?

Meanwhile a family with a small business has to come to terms with being the victims of a dodgy offshore loan scheme with Centabank that has left them losing everything. A lawyer sees an opportunity and takes the familyís case to court.

Although without the intense, sinister and creepy atmosphere of The Boys, The Bank still deals with an evil that we all have to deal with - the evil of those damn banks. Connolly does it pretty damn well too.

LaPaglia is all Corporate Tyrant, making Simon an American to complete the package. LaPagliaís sharp, down the line delivery gobbles up the screen. In the first board room scene we see a hint that Simon is not entirely happy and a little frustrated with the bank boardís desire for growth. Perhaps it would have been good to explore that side of Simon.

Wenham again turns on the aloof faÁade hiding a character with far keener mind and agenda. The subtle changes in his face as we learn more about Jim is the highlight of Wenhamís performance.

Connolly has well and truly established himself as a scriptwriter. In this effort he has written an interesting, involving story with style and some attention-grabbing characters. It was good to see Sibylla Buddís character of Michelle with a bit more depth to her than just the token love interest.

It was now Connollyís turn to establish his credentials as a director. Surrounding himself with some of the talent The Boys he has extracted fine performances from these people on both sides of the camera.

The photography is exquisite. Stylishly capturing the main settings of corporate Melbourne and regional landscapes. The two main settings are distinctly different, yet donít clash with each other making sure the viewers didnít feel they were watching two different films.

The film features some nifty computer graphics. While they made you feel that all that Jim and his colleagues were doing was mucking about making cute images rather than making money, they were nevertheless cool to look at and helped the understanding of the story. Even though fractal imaging is soooo 15 years ago.

With this film Connolly is well on his way to establishing himself as a fine feature director. Which will probably mean that he will soon be off overseas. More our loss, as here he has directed an accessible, classy suspense, and being so anti-bank, itís a film with a lot of appeal.

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originally posted: 09/07/01 13:27:02
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User Comments

10/02/09 J.H lol 4 stars
1/14/05 Gullytrap A Twiliht Zone plot for children disguised as an art movie. Ouch. 1 stars
6/16/04 miss ward poorly done 1 stars
5/12/04 Linda a movie unreal and sometimes ridiculous, but also amusing and rich in ethcal messages 3 stars
5/10/04 john bale Home grown telemovie style Bank expose, visually flat, LaPaglia tries hard. Doesn't excite. 3 stars
2/12/04 DeathSyndrome It's a pretty good movie.... 4 stars
11/12/01 Andrew Robinson I work in a bank and found it hilarious 5 stars
10/31/01 mindwarp Mandelbrot tie-in a bit weak, great anti-establishment film, and you don't feel spoonfed. 4 stars
10/22/01 tom green I thought sibylla budd was fantastic, much better than the two men. 5 stars
10/16/01 viking Anthony La Paglia is an Aussie Gordon Gecko 4 stars
10/03/01 Garth Elliott Enjoyable, though some repercussions of plot ignored, and a line at the end a bit too glib 4 stars
9/25/01 matthew smith outstanding 5 stars
9/25/01 Graham Bucknell Utter Shite 1 stars
9/13/01 Pierce Lanson Very convincing about corporate greed. Wonderful photography, good story. 4 stars
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  06-Sep-2001 (M)

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