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Catch-Up Capsule Reviews for Films Released the Weekend of 3/7/08:

The Bank Job



Rated R | 110 mins


     The Bank Job is equally reprehensible for being a mess as it is respectable for being ambitious. The movie, retelling a “true story” in an amped-up fashion, is a pastiche of everything we’ve ever seen before in heist pictures and a few things that we haven’t. In what could’ve been a simple tale about robbing safety deposit boxes, screenwriters Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais and director Roger Donaldson have complicatedly interwoven recent history, statements about radical socio-political reform, juicy fictional moral dilemmas, and captivating action-sequences. I’m full of high-praise for The Bank Job, indeed. Unfortunately, I’m equally as prepared to criticize the movie; after all, it is way too all-over-the-place to have any type of pointed dramatic effect. Somewhere between the heist led by protagonist Terry (Jason Statham), the sequences involving black separatist Michael X (Peter De Jersey), and the vignettes honing in on corruption in the British Government, the movie gets too muddled for its own good. What’s even more disappointing: in the lead role, Statham loses nearly all of the “cool guy”-appeal he boasted in The Transporter films and Crank. In the end, The Bank Job succeeds in keeping the viewer moderately entertained throughout its duration, but it’s about as stable as Britney Spears’ home-life. In a few months, the film will make for a terrific rental but, until then, it isn’t really worth seeking out.

College Road Trip



Rated G | 83 mins


     If there’s one thing that College Road Trip does well, it’s remind us that another Disney Comedy is the last thing that we audiences need. Disney, milking as much out of an established formula as it possibly can, this time tries to fill seats by targeting the coveted African-American demographic, hiring the ever-popular stars Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone to appeal to black viewers. Of course, everything else about this dead-on-arrival dud has been seen before, from the cliché story about a father having to let go of his young daughter to the supporting little-brother who carries a rambunctious pet pig at his side. Oh, and did I mention the oh-so-clever montages in which the lead characters transform emotionally in a matter of seconds to appear as though deep revelations are made in a plot that’s far too shallow to support such achievements? Yeah, College Road Trip has its fair share of those, too. Lawrence and Symone have their moments—as does Donny Osmond in a kooky supporting role (well, for his first few minutes, at least)—but there’s no reason to care about them when they don’t have a solid foundational-story on which to stand. Quite frankly, there’s no reason to pay ten bucks to see College Road Trip when you could just stay at home and watch one of the countless other movies like it instead.


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