I haven’t posted on this blog for a while, and I don’t have a lot to say this time around. But I was at the movie theatres recently when I saw a movie poster that piqued my interest. It was a retro 1970s style poster for the new Jason Statham pic The Bank Job. Now upon watching the trailer, I realized it was a pretty much by the numbers heist thriller, but the poster is still easily the best one I’ve seen so far this year, and might be one of the best of the decade.
I think what makes this poster stand out to me is how authentically retro it looks. Unlike various films set in the 70s that go for obvious imagery in their posters (see the ridiculously bad Across the Universe for further proof), this one has gritty written all over it. From the off-centre, grainy photo of Statham in the car to the minimalist writing of the title in red, pushed off to the side, this poster takes the same minimal approach that some of the best posters of yesteryear did. The 1970s were the first era to move away from drawn posters, although there are some absolute classics from the era, including M*A*S*H and Dog Day Afternoon, The Bank Job uses a photograph that does not even stand to be iconic in the same way Keanu’s pose in Matrix posters does, or any superhero for that matter. In fact, with Statham’s nihilistic stare and scruffy beard, he looks downright lost, and a whole lot more akin to the anti-heroes the 1970s produced than any other poster I’ve seen in this decade.
I probably won’t see The Bank Job. I personally think most heist movies are pretty lousy, with few exceptions. This one doesn’t really seem to bring anything new to the table other than its amazing poster. I’d love to find out the artistic director who put this poster together. Because they should unleash him/her on Hollywood and turn posters into the art they once were (there’s truly nothing more beautiful than classic movie posters. Okay, naked women, but that’s it).