Title – King of Thieves (2018)
Director – James March (Man on Wire)
Cast – Michael Caine, Charlie Cox, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Ray Winstone
Plot – Based on a true story of a collection of elderly British criminals who under the leadership of Brian Reader (Caine) enact a daring heist on a high-end jewellery store.
“I’ll have you for chunks!”
Review by Eddie on 02/09/2019
Based on a fascinating true story, featuring a cast of genuine British legends, directed by the competent and proven James Marsh and based in everyone’s favourite sub-genre, the heist film, King of Thieves seems to have it all happening on paper but sadly not so much on screen.
An almost entirely lifeless and dull exploration of the true life tale of a bunch of geriatric career criminals that undertook a daring and financially abundant heist on a U.K jewelry store, Thieves should be a darkly humorous, thrilling and engaging offering but Marsh fails to ignite any sparks within his film that sadly seems to thinks a bunch of scenes of beloved actors like Michael Caine, Ray Winstone and Michael Gambon swearing at each other equals quality entertainment.
It’s unfortunate to witness such a cast, that also includes Charlie Cox, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay and Paul Whitehouse get given such uninspired material to work with, as we know via years of quality performances that this is a cast that can most definitely deliver the goods when given the scope to do so.
We never feel any true comradeship between this rag tag group of elderly criminals and long term friends/associates, there’s no truly witty banter between a collection of so called comrades and to the films detriment, the actual heist these fellows pull-off is seemingly set-up to be a white knuckle sweat-inducing affair but it’s a heist that comes and goes with very little pre-thought or after-thought meaning by the time all is said and done, all we are then left with is a rather boring thriller filled with a bunch of characters we care very little about.
The best type of these ensemble crime capers always work to a high level thanks to great character building, inspired direction and smartly constructed narrative rug-pulling but Thieves has none of this as Marsh appears to be the shadow of his former self when compared directly with his previous films such as Man on Wire and The Theory of Everything.
Showing such promise in the mid to late 2000’s, the English born filmmaker has undoubted talent but Thieves raises concerning questions about his ability to work with such a loaded cast and with material that seems like a sure-fire hit, with hopes being that this poor quality effort is nothing but an aberration on an otherwise mostly impressive C.V, ditto to all esteemed actors involved who must surely be disappointed that their team up equates to nothing more than mismanaged potential.
Final Say –
Instantly forgettable and utterly disappointing, King of Thieves squanders a fabulous cast of cinematic treasures and a rip-roaring true story to become nothing more than a complete waste of time and talent. Avoid at all costs.
1 safety deposit box out of 5