This solid British heist flick manages to find a new spin in an overdone genre. Based on real events from the 1970s, it involves everyone from pimps to MI-5 and the royal family.

Michael X, a British black power activist and criminal, snaps pictures of a member of the royal family engaged in a sex scandal to keep himself out of prison. Members of MI-5 (the British CIA) hire Martine (Saffron Burrows) to approach an old flame (go-to English badass Jason Statham) to rob the bank where the photos are kept. Thing go sour when they unwittingly rip-off some gangsters and bring down the heat from crooked cops.

Veteran action director Roger Donaldson (Thirteen Days) does a great job keeping the convoluted backstabbings and blackmailings from getting too muddled while moving the characters around like chess pieces. It’s an inventive, fast-paced take on the heist flick, which doesn’t resort to gimmicks like many recent genre attempts.

Grade: B+

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