Imagine the scene: a group of well-meaning, ambitious screenwriters sit round a table, brainstorming scenarios for the basis of a novel film. "Goat wins Big Brother?" "Nah - too zany". "Prime minister finds love through internet dating?" Too mundane. Suddenly, one pipes up: "I've got it - two sets of bank robbers raid a bank... at exactly the same time?!!" Ripples of agreement. "Brilliant," says another, "But make it three sets - we're entertaining, after all".

However it was germinated, Tuesday's inventors further plumped for an arty-cool feel with a choppy timeline, a yellowish, smudgy tint and a contemporary London setting. It's a bit like those old adverts for Special K. Beautiful woman, lovely scenery, big house - but still a bland cereal when you eat it. And sadly for Tuesday, bling doesn't hide boring. That seems to have been the opinion of distributors, at least, as the film failed to secure a cinema release, instead earning the dreaded 'straight-to-video' tag reserved almost exclusively for total tosh.

Copy picture

And tosh this truly is. It tells an already complicated story in a convoluted manner, and yet somehow still presents only a modicum of action. In short: Established outfit The Cowboys heist one bank, then set about planning their next and final hit (on a Tuesday, hence the title), unaware that a local Joe Public (Linal Haft), driven loopy by his wife's infidelity, is gunning for the same branch, as are two of its own cashiers. We learn all this in recap at a local copshop, as an august and perhaps crooked cop (Kevin McNally) interrogates all the robbers, with help from his junior partner, after this triple hit.

Wasn't that easy? Sadly Tuesday takes nigh on two hours relating the same facts, before a limp conclusion. But how, you ask? By bloody repeating itself, that's how. Viewers are forced to watch the same scenes over and again, with only a slight development each time, as Jerry (the august and possibly crooked one) quizzes one robber after another. It's déja vu meets torture porn. The additional problem is that little is in doubt - all the crooks are in custody, so it's not like they got away - and any cook who's ever spoilt a broth will be able to guess why things went wrong well before the end.

The only intrigue comes from red herrings - in fact, subplots that Tuesday introduces then totally abandons - which don't quite tally at the end. That, and why fairly respected British character actors like John Simm and Ashley Walters signed up for this claptrap, both playing gang members. At least Walters gets to wear some trendy rags; Simm is limited to ill-fitting, retro tracksuits that even the 118 duo would pass on, kitsch jewellery (he's called Silver, after all) and a range of silly hats befitting Dalston scenesters but not a 39-year-old man.

The gang is completed by a silly Spaniard who's meant to be funny but isn't, and leader Earp (Philip Glenister), the veteran, unflappable criminal. He smiles at Jerry smugly: they know he knows they know he attempted robbery, but he knows they know he knows they don't have enough evidence to pin him. Except they do: he was seen at the bank demanding money using a gun. Go figure. Better to enjoy the 'emotional' scenes where Joe Public relates his partner's humiliating adultery, and the quick, oh-so-subtle flashback which tells us Jerry has been similarly cuckolded.

If you really want to see this, at least wait until it inevitably costs £1 in the next big HMV sale, and save some cash.

Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2009
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Tuesday packshot
Heists collide as a bank is simultaneously targeted by different sets of thieves.
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Read more Tuesday reviews:

Steve Harwood ***

Director: Sacha Bennett

Writer: Sacha Bennett

Starring: Philip Glenister, John Simm, Ashley Walters, Cristian Solimeno, Kevin McNally, Kate Magowan, Kirsty Mitchell, Linal Haft, Alex MacQueen, Dylan Brown

Year: 2008

Runtime: 79 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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The Bank Job