Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Tamsin Greig, Matt Horne
Director: Vadim Jean
Running Time: 105 mins
Breaking The Bank is a British film about the head of a major London bank who finds himself out of a job after a chaotic decision gone wrong.
If you liked The Big Short but thought it wasn’t English enough, then Breaking The Bank might just be your cup of tea. Another retreading of the financial crisis in 2008, the film features the odd decent laugh, although it really is quite odd when it comes to the way it tackles its characters and subject matter.
First things first, if you’re looking for fully accurate and in-depth historical accounts of the credit crunch, then Breaking The Bank is not the film you want. The good thing about it, however, is that the film doesn’t pretend to be that, embracing its offbeat approach to what can often be a rather dry and confusing subject.
Where The Big Short spends a lot of time explaining important economic concepts to you that you still don’t quite get even after Margot Robbie and Selena Gomez get involved, Breaking The Bank is a lot less heavy on the details, and that’s something which really works to its advantage.
As a result, the film is able to tell a story about the financial collapse and the effects it had on people of all different backgrounds without getting too complex, meaning it’s a surprisingly lightweight and often enjoyable affair that you don’t have to focus too hard on.
Saying that, however, the film doesn’t seem to spare all that much time on anything else, with disappointingly thin and one-dimensional characters that just aren’t as funny or interesting as they really could be.
Despite a genuinely entertaining and charismatic lead performance from Kelsey Grammer, Breaking The Bank makes his character rather unlikable, seemingly some form of retribution for his years of incompetence at the top of a wealthy institution that he just stumbled into through nepotism.
There’s a lot more there in his character, and in the secondary players, to make Breaking The Bank a more interesting and above all more relatable story. However, in Grammer’s fall from grace, everything seems a little bit too easy, with not enough fireworks that would really spell out the chaos that’s actually unfolding.
So, from a basic entertainment perspective, Breaking The Bank is a simple, lightweight affair with a few oddball laughs. Light on the details, it’s an easy watch, but it’s also never a particularly captivating one, and certainly not on the charismatic levels of the The Big Short. So, that’s why I’m giving Breaking The Bank a 6.7 overall.