King of Thieves Review – Did it Steal the Show?

Projected Film: King of Thieves Review – Did it Steal the Show?

Runtime: 108mins | Director: James Marsh | Rating: 2.5 Stars

The Hatton Garden Heist – one of the most infamous crimes in British history.

Why? Well, not only was £14million stolen making it one of the largest thefts ever committed in British history but even more astoundingly was the age of the men who carried it out – all of them between 60-80 years old.

Of course, given the amusing and unlikely perpetrators of the crime, the story seemed perfect for a cinematic adaption. Unfortunately, though, this wasn’t the case.

Entering it I had high hopes due to the phenomenal cast comprised of aged British legends – Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay and Paul Whitehouse. If we’re honest, you’d be hard pressed to find a better casting.

But, King of Thieves proves you can have the greatest cast in the world and still not steal the show. Unfortunately, despite the cast’s best efforts and undeniable charisma, chemistry and charm, the film fell flat.

For me, this was mainly down to the fact the film had one thing going for it – they’re old.

Projected Film: King of Thieves Review – Did it Steal the Show?

Sure, the first few jokes about them being technophobic were funny and so was seeing them suffer from various ailments as they committed the crime. But given the films near 2-hour runtime, it soon became repetitive and boring, and by the end, it felt as if there was a reliance.

The film feels increasingly stale as you wade on, and this isn’t helped by the fact James Marsh doesn’t go anywhere with it. Unlike most heist films, it is a slow-burner and it suffers as a result. Perhaps this is an attempt to mirror the speed at which its protagonists plod along, but to me, it felt like poor writing. In a desperate attempt to create some tension, Marsh overuses frantic montage scenes, but to no avail. Ultimately, the film is an extended character piece – not an action film.

Projected Film: King of Thieves Review – Did it Steal the Show?

That being said, the film does have its redeeming qualities – the biggest being that it acts as a swan song for the aged and respected actors, nodding to their esteemed and varied careers. But, time has moved on, and as much as I will always love Caine, Broadbent and Winstone in particular, their time on screen is coming to a graceful end. King of Thieves, however, gives them a final outing, reminiscing on their glory days.

This nostalgic sentiment is felt most during montages from the actors’ previous films which are strung together and placed intermittently throughout the film. Whilst, overall, I wasn’t a fan of this as it made the film feel disjointed, the ending montage gave me an undeniable excitement and joy, seeing them in their prime again on the big screen.

Projected Film: King of Thieves Review – Did it Steal the Show?

If, when going into King of Thieves you’re expecting an exceptional heist film with plenty of action, special effects and a clever, intricate plot, you will be sorely disappointed. This is not that type of film. But, if you go in with an open mind and accept it for what it is – a swan song for actors of a bygone era – there is fun to be had. But, it’s a shame that their potentially final outing wasn’t as strong as it could have been due to repetitive humour, a slow-burning narrative and an unnecessarily long runtime.

To watch the trailer – click here.


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