Is this based-on-a-true-story, star-studded heist movie a diamond in the rough or does it not make the cut?
Based on the true story of the Hatton Garden robbery of Easter 2015, “King of Thieves” follows a group of veteran, over-sixty burglars headed by Brian Reader (Michael Caine), who break into the highly secure Hatton Garden jewel vaults and make-away with an extraordinary amount as a final farewell to their life of crime. But, when the lure of money and greed takes hold, the band of robbers (headed by a cast including Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay and Jim Broadbent) soon turn on each other, and their masterplan begins to unravel, with dangerous consequences…
When news of the Hatton Garden robbery first broke back in 2015, people were already predicting it’s silver-screen adaptation, and this is the second time the astonishing narrative has been adapted after last year’s “The Hatton Garden Job”. The advantage that “King of Thieves” has over it’s counterpart, then, is its outstanding cast of British veteran actors, none more famous then Michael Caine, who is excellent in one of the lead roles. Jim Broadbent also does a great job of capturing the character of Terry Perkins, one of the real-life burglars, and giving a slightly unsettling performance at times. That is one thing this film does well: it doesn’t do too much to try and “de-villainise” the main characters and the film always reminds us through some often witty but also cruel dialogue between the characters that these aren’t pleasant people.
Though branded as a heist movie, the actual heist in “King of Thieves” doesn’t really take up much of the run-time and occurs pretty early on in the plot. It’s also a little lacking in drama and adrenaline-pumping action, but is probably much more accurate to what really took place, which I prefer for a film like this. My only issue, though, is that the plan for the heist — and other plot points of the film — weren’t clearly shown to the audience, and though I’d rather not have an awkward, forced scene where a character explains a plan to the group for the sake of the viewer as is common in most heist films, it was at times a little tricky to full grasp what was going on.
Overall, “King of Thieves” is a well-acted, exciting heist movie, that does well to tell the latest “too-good-to-be-fiction” to come from the world of real-life crime, and deserves a solid seven-out-of-ten.
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