Not every film that gets made is released. Or deserves to be released. At least not right away. Somewhere, maybe in that warehouse we see at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, there is a high, dusty shelf. On that shelf are stored the good, the bad and the unwatchable, films that, for a variety of different reasons may never see the light of day, serving their time in cinematic purgatory.

Some, the likes of Phone Booth or the Red Dawn remake, are victims of circumstance or politics, Phone Booth being delayed for months in the wake of the Washington Sniper attacks, Red Dawn delayed for years so the baddies could be digitally altered from the Chinese to the North Koreans, the Chinese tending to watch a lot more Hollywood fare than the North Koreans. Others are trapped there because of legal difficulties, The Cabin In The Woods being delayed by MGM’s bankruptcy, the Rolling Stones infamous vanity project Cocksucker Blues killed by a failure of nerve.

Then there are those like Snowpiercer, The Grandmaster, Hero and All The Boys Love Mandy Lane where Harvey Weinstein wasn’t sure what the hell to do with them, Snowpiercer still never having been released in the UK despite being released globally while Mandy Lane still hasn’t got any love in North America. But most of these films received some form of release, however desultory, more than can be said for Robert Altman’s political satire HealtH which was simply never released by 20th Century Fox after a falling out of favour due to regime change after Alan Ladd Jr.’s departure.

Then there are others that should just never be released, films so appalling that you wonder how they came to be made at all; films like Gods Behaving Badly featuring a toga-ed up Christopher Walken and Sharon Stone as Greek gods interfering in a Manhattan couple’s lives. Or the Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie which, while never intended for release, has become a cult favourite among comic book fanboys. Perhaps the most infamous of these is Jerry Lewis’ The Day The Clown Cried in which the adopted French National Treasure™ entertains Jewish children on the way to the gas chamber. Because death camps just aren’t terrifying enough, let’s stick a clown in there…

I’m not suggesting for a moment that Leon The Pig Farmer director Vadim Jean’s Breaking The Bank is in any way comparable to The Day The Clown Died. It’s not. It’s not that interesting for a start. And nowhere near as funny. Yep, you heard that right gentle reader, Breaking The Bank is less funny than a Holocaust film where a clown shepherds kids to their death. But, having languished on a dusty shelf since it’s debut at the 2014 Dubai International Film Festival, you can’t help but wonder why it’s being released now? Or even why it was ever made in the first place?

A knockabout comedy about banking, written and produced by former banker Roger Devlin who, on the evidence provided, couldn’t write the word FUCK on a dusty Venetian blind, Breaking The Bank sees Kelsey Grammer essentially impersonating Hugh Bonneville if he ever decides to play Boris Johnson, his bumbling aristo Charles, the chairman of tweedy investment bank Tufftons. As you might expect, Charles is a self-deluded buffoon who bankrupts his own bank, leaving it vulnerable to a hostile takeover by slicker-than-baby-snot American banker Richard Grinding (John Michael Higgins) who also has designs on Charles’ wife Penelope (Tamesin Greig).

Penniless and (after Penelope kicks him out) homeless, the suicidal Charles heads down to Tower Bridge, intending to throw himself into the Thames, where he meets rough-sleeping plot device Oscar (Pearce Quigley), who luckily just happens to be a financial whiz. With the aid of Oscar, his estranged daughter and her Trustafarian anarchist collective, a virginal accountant and a nymphomaniac French secretary (hey, she’s French, she must be a nymphomaniac!), Charles hatches a plan to save the bank and his marriage, beat the Japanese at Wiff Waff, deliver a Greed Is Bad speech to a bunch of bankers and ensure that the English landed gentry (well, Penelope anyway) keeps their stately homes. Oh, and there’s an extended homage to those Paul Whitehouse/Ron Moody Aviva ads with poor old Andrew Sachs in the Ron Moody role.

Determinedly unfunny and old-fashioned, like a Robin Askwith-Confessions movie shorn of the tits and slapstick that were their raison d’etre, Breaking The Bank may not be offensive in the same way as the likes of the vulgar Dirty Grandpa but, at a time when worldwide recession and the UK’s austerity strategy means the country has never been so divided between rapacious haves intent on strip-mining the country and struggling haven’t-got-a-hopes trying to make ends meet on zero hours contracts, with benefits being cut, the NHS being raped, the number of food banks having risen 800% since 2008 and disability hate crime on the rise, the last hero we need is a befuddled toff banker with a heart of gold no matter how decent Grammer’s English accent is.

But maybe I’ve missed the point. Maybe Breaking The Bank is a deliberate provocation, a clarion call to revolution, to seize back our country from the bully boys of the Bullingdon Club. Maybe…Did I mention Kelsey Grammer’s toff English accent is pretty decent?

Movie Review: Breaking The Bank
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