Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE BANKER (Apple TV+)

Two Avengers & an X-Men walk into a bank…I can already guess right now that more than 80% of you that read my reviews probably don’t have Apple TV+. I see their streaming service being closed after another year or two of content that doesn’t peak any one’s interest. Eh…make that 95% of you that read my reviews probably don’t have it. Even Apple is freaking out because many people that have bought a new Apple product aren’t taking them up on signing up for the service for a year for free. The only reason I have Apple TV+ is because I got a new iPhone back in December. I bet some of you didn’t even know that and have bought a new Apple product. It has (I guess, I don’t watch it) The Morning Show that stars Jennifer Aniston, it has Mythic Quest Raven’s Banquet series that was created by the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (which I did watch all of and its the best thing the streaming service has to offer) and now it has this new original movie THE BANKER, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, and Nicholas Hoult. It has other shit, like a Jason Mamoa TV series called…See…or something like that, but it all looks like drivel to me. Now while it took about 20 minutes to really get going (out of a two hour runtime), The Banker is really quite good. And where I was thinking I’d have nothing to review for awhile, thank the Movie God’s I was wrong.

THE BANKER has a very interesting true story premise, borrowing the simple tag line on IMDB: “In the 1960s two African-American entrepreneurs hire a working-class white man to pretend to be the head of their business empire while they pose as a janitor and chauffeur.” Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson are the two entrepreneurs and Nicholas Hoult plays the working-class white man. Their business empire consists of being two of the first African American bankers in the United States. They start off by buying and owning buildings that these banks are in, that won’t give them the time of day when they need it, and then eventually sliding directly into banking itself, all while having this white man, who is not racist and considers them friends, be the face of the company. Because no one would take them seriously in the first place…because look at what unfortunate time period they were stuck in. And they also do some of their main business in Texas at the time…yikes. Anyway, like I said earlier, the movie starts off a little slow with Anthony Mackie as a genius, but again, white people judge him by the color of his skin so won’t take him seriously, but about 20 minutes in, after Mackie has met Jackson’s character and they get Nicholas Hoult involved in their scheme and try to groom him so that he can walk the walk and talk the talk, the movie gets extremely entertaining and fun.

Do yourself a favor and don’t do any research on what happened to any of the characters. I didn’t and enjoyed the movie much more that I didn’t know what was going to happen in the end. The movie is funny, entertaining, smart, and moving at times. I liked that it didn’t treat the audience like they were morons and didn’t try to explain every single thing about the math in their business or what terms meant. You either know what they are talking about or you Google it if you want to understand. Tired of movies spoon feeding information to their audience, and it seems like writer/director George Nolfi (Ocean’s Twelve, Adjustment Bureau) knew that and decided we didn’t need hand holding. I’m glad he did, as I was looking up terms left and right, trying AND wanting to understand more of what these characters were doing math and money wise. The movie is of course superbly acted. Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson do a great job as they usually do, Nia Long has a good small part as Mackie’s wife, but the scene stealer here is Nicholas Hoult, especially the grooming and conning other white men (in a way) scenes. I think this is Apple TV+’s first original movie that they bought. If they were to keep bulking up the screening service with more films of the quality and many more interesting TV shows other than Mystic Quest, they might be able to survive. Hence the word might, you can take that to the bank.

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