Film Review: King of Thieves

James Marsh’s King of Thieves is a broadly enjoyable crime caper drama. The second half of the film falters, compared to a peppier first half. 

An ageing group of crooks contemplate an audacious job. Hatton Garden is the home of jewellery district. The group decide to pull off a heist that could earn them millions…

Telling the story behind the 2015 Hatton Garden robbery, King of Thieves combines a crime caper with a drama. Director James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) gives character to the little-known villains, and tells the story of the heist and the subsequent fallout.

Given that the events took place in very recent history, it is forgivable to question what the the film will offer. Nevertheless, King of Thieves is sufficiently entertaining, even if all the elements are not on point. The film is one of two halves. The first focuses on the build up to the heist and the job itself. The second concentrates on the gang’s behaviour after the robbery, and the police investigation.

The introduction of the main characters is adequate. Later in the film, Marsh’s focuses on the main players in the gang, and this works well. There is humour to be found, especially in the first half. Marsh lulls viewers into a sense of familiarity with the protagonists, before reminding of their menace. The crime caper aspects work well. The film falters as it progresses, however. This is because the dramatic aspects are not that impactful. The police investigation element is depicted in an interesting enough fashion, even if the investigators are nameless. The focus on the in-fighting of the gang does not engage in the same way the lead up to the heist did.

Michael Caine and Ray Winstone are perfectly fine, although they never leave their comfort zone. Jim Broadbent steals the show, portraying a menace that is striking. Charlie Cox also does well as the youngest member of the group. King of Thieves offers a great cast, but not that memorable of a film.

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