King of Thieves

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

There is nothing like a good heist film, especially one that is based on actual events. King of Thieves tells the story of the Hatton Garden Robbery, which is still considered to be the largest burglary to date in English history. The best figures show that the perpetrators were able to get away with up to £200 million stolen in cash, jewellery, gold, and diamonds. The robbery was performed over the Easter holidays in 2015 by a group of retired thieves. They targeted the London’s Hatton Garden district which gains its notoriety for its jewellery stores and diamond trade.

Sir Michael Caine (The Dark Knight trilogy) plays the leader of the gang and heads a cast of British powerhouse actors which includes Jim Broadbent, Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone, Charlie Cox, Tom Courtenay, and Paul Whitehouse. The acting is solid and the cast shows how age has made the intrepid gang of thieves more frail and vulnerable as they pull off this final job with the assistance of Charlie Cox’s character. The youngest of the band of thieves proves his value with his knowledge of electronics and modern alarm systems.

At the story’s core, this is a heist movie albeit not in the same vein as the Oceans series where humour and inevitable twists rank supreme. This outing does contain a little humour and light-hearted moments in the initial part, but the criminal background of these characters leads to more gritty and seedy elements as the story progresses. In keeping with this aspect of the criminal world, this film may not appeal to anyone with the sensitivity to foul language.

The old adage ‘There is no honour amongst thieves’ comes to the forefront once the gang successfully breaks into the vault and steals the bounty. The men try to lay low from the law and work out how to divide their spoils in the aftermath of the robbery, but they all succumb to distrust and greed as each member of the gang tries to manipulate and conspire against one another. Even in the tradition of thieves, they try to pocket some of the loot for themselves. These weaknesses ultimately lead to their demise as the police quickly piece together the involvement of each member of the robbery gang through the use of CCTV footage and surveillance.

Since King of Thieves is based on real-life events and the unravelling of relationships, it is not hard to realise that this not a feel-good movie. Proving that there is nothing good to celebrate about criminal activity and the characters themselves aren’t endearing in any way, especially when you witness their behaviour towards each other in the latter half of the film. Consequently, the movie is very matter-of-fact in showing the events as they unfolded without too much excitement or drama.  Despite these shortcomings, the acting performances, particularly from Sir Michael and Jim Broadbent, and for learning about how the biggest robbery in England was executed make this worth the time at the cinema. 

REEL DIALOGUE:  Who can we trust?

King of Thieves exposes audiences to what happens when you cannot trust the people around you and the critical motivation of self-preservation takes over.  Needless to say, life can be unsettling and full of tension when you doubt if those around you care about you or are looking out for your best interests.  

The Bible shows us that things can be different through the person of Jesus. He sets out an example for His followers on how we ought to act and behave and treat one another and He demonstrates the depth of His love when He gives up His life on the cross for the sake of all mankind.

Want to find out more?  Read one of the Gospel accounts of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John to learn more about Him and His message.