how to rob a bank

Proof why cell phones are bad, they create concept films where actors never see each other face to face.

It’s not easy to make a truly bad film, so bad that it hurts to watch, like witnessing surgery or a beating. You feel for the people involved. Unless they go too far then you start to hate them. It’s not easy to get together a decent crew of actors and all the necessary tools to make a film only to let it fall like Fat Boy on Hiroshima.

Even a bad B movie is better than a bad movie made with intentions to be really good. A B movie is supposed to be rotten, you knew it from the start when you rented it. But when the budget is big, the actors trained and still the core is rotten that is a severe dissapointment.

It makes my kidneys hurt like a body blow from Tyson when all this goes to waste and good intentions get slaughtered like a Stradivari played by a wino.

bizarre MTV jump cuts meets bad Tarantino dialogue meets Autistic rain man on a one location shoot is a sad collision that barely leaves the theater occupants alive.

In fact every one of these actors is questioning their ability to survive this movie, you can see it in their eyes and is hoping for it to fade into oblivion as fast as possible. They will get their wish, except overseas, where the Cantonese dubbing will save this film from the terrible wandering verbiage and aimless rhetoric. Somehow they will translate it into something meaningful like a foreign Mystery 4000 theater.

The director Andrew Jenkins is trying far too hard to emulate something that shouldn’t be emulated, and it’s transparent, what lies beneath is putrid and stale despite the camera antics and overused 3d.

Jenkins actually uses the same shot of moving through a locked safe over and over again, till you become addled. The editing is also bad here along with the pacing.


The writing is preadolescent, obvious on the nose dialogue written in a wanna be cool way that sounds like the coughing of a preteen on their first cigar, stilted, unwelcome and confused at why there is so much pain in being cool.

“Seems like we’re both living now.”

“It’s a bit on the edge for me…but I gotta admit, I kinda like the view.”

No, you don’t get to make a movie if you’re just going to recast high schoolers grasping for lines like a pimply GED graduate on the stage  performance of Grease for parents night.


Well, you can but it’s going to make everyone look very foolish. The rest of the script is so stilted with jerks and lost connections, it’s a good thing the main characters are all prisoners of the location, a safe and a bank surrounded by cops, or else they would have escaped from the set.


Stahl ( Jinx ) not a funny name considering the outcome of this movie, while attempting to evade bank robbers, runs into a bank safe, and gets locked in with tech babe Erika Christensen. She looks like doesn’t she know how to use a calculator, her computer savvy is as credible as her dark wig and her pasted on acting grin. They start a conversation where Jinx mellows the aggressive tech queen with his stumbling progression from mega moron pathetically whining about his lost buck fifty on a surcharge to a manipulative street smart guy who cons all the real time criminals out of millions.

Another hip twenty something wishful thinking mental contrivance that would just never happen, this guy can’t even figure out how to not accumulate surcharges.

A running theme in this film that justifies the foolishness of the entire film. Jinx complains about having to pay to get information from an operator and then pay her to connect the call. Maybe Jinx should get a pen or a phone book and take responsibility for his choices.

And of course the one time he tries to get around the surcharge of an ATM by actually walking into a bank, I was surprised that his legs had the electrical power to carry him in. He is chastised by his act of defiance by being attacked by prozac soaked dysfunctional bank robbers.

These bank robber have so many dumb moments, you can only attribute this to the writer trying to create empathy with his audience, the hazed out MTV lost in a world of self congratulations at rolling a fresh one while capitalism rapes the world.

Even the slowest loser should be able to out think these robbers. Even Ernie and the Cookie monster would have been a greater challenge, in fact they would have been rather funny. The crooks mill about and one actually takes his gun apart during a standoff with the police.

There are lot of attempts at humor as the bank robbers try to get Jinx out of the bank safe while waiting out the Police. They all fall flat with the thudding noise of a wet corpse dragged from the river and slapped onto the banks marble floors.


While Gavin Rossdale tries to create a character with depth adding inflections and subtext. His valiant attempts are sabotaged by unmotivated cameras moves and jerky cuts, which only serve to confuse and not entertain. I can see his beautiful wife Gwen’s wince at the screening.

Still in the vault, the soon to be in love pair have stopped hurting each other and are now suddenly gazing into each others misty eyes. It’s a Disney moment brought to us by the need to end this movie, nowhere is there any actual character motivation or meaning.

Suddenly NICK ( the criminal mastermind ) calls the pair and after too many pretend clever exchanges, Nick and Jinx make a deal. They will all get out of this movie if they just say the words they were forced to memorize in the script.

My god it’s David Caradine as Nick, I recognize his lilt and when I say he phoned this performance in, I am being literal. They are so many cell phone performances it made my ears hurt. You know like when you’ve been on the phone too long.

So on the cell Jinx makes a deal with with the Police outside, while conning Gavin to let them out, while cracking a million dollar deal with Nick. Out of the vault, past the criminals with his new girlfriend in tow, straight to the front doors and freedom where they suddenly just stop for one last act of confusion.

The ensuing stares and needless conversation of why they can’t exit the front door to freedom because her wrists are tied with tape and then the cops will know. Know what?

Keep the black tape on, it looks good, really.

Keep the black tape on, it looks good, really.

That the bank robbers used some tape to restrain her? This false ploy to create tension is as empty as a dead mans stare.

Suddenly the camera revolves around Gavins death, his head explodes. was he shot? If so by whom, or did his head just burst from the stale air of this debacle. The scene is shot incredibly bad, is completely confusing and reeks of student work. I have no idea if Gavin is shot by one of his underlings or if he commits suicide.

I refuse to rewind for a closer look.

A final glimpse of a pot bellied Caradine walking out of another bank revealing he was Nick from the phone calls to Jinx. Hardly a fitting end but it’s an end that I was happy to get.

Do not rent this movie under any circumstances, there is no redeemable material at all. And we must not encourage this type of behavior, for the sake of all the innocent people injured in the making of this film.

Go rent The Inside Man for a look at how this type of film should be done.

Humorously the DVD had a Making of How To Rob A Bank, it must be the greatest gag reel ever, or it is a threat.

2 thoughts on “Why I hated HOW TO ROB A BANK

  1. Pingback: How to Rob a Bank (2007) Movie

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