King of Thieves is a heist film based on the true story of a group of retirees attempting one last job. Led by Michael Caine, the impressive cast includes Ray Winstone, Jim Broadbent, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Paul Whitehouse, and Charlie Cox as the only younger member of the team. While the film starts off fun and exciting, it loses momentum in the last third, with the epilogue being written on a black screen feeling a little off.
Broadbent is fantastic as the lovable but sometimes grumpy Terry Perkins, with Winstone and Gambon adding to the mix with their own unique personalities. Cox does good work as the odd man out, but his character feels incomplete, possibly due to the writing and/or directing.
The film’s look is typical of a heist movie with English garden scenery, giving it a familiar feel for fans of UK entertainment. The cinematography by Danny Cohen adds to this atmosphere and the editing by Jinx Godfrey and Nick Moore brings a dynamic to the action. The set decoration by Celia Bobak and costume design by Consolata Boyle make the film feel realistic within its settings.
King of Thieves is an interesting take on heist films, with its unique crew of retirees. The cast is superbly acted, with the younger Cox holding his own alongside the seasoned veterans. While the film loses steam in the last third, it still provides a fun experience overall, with a bird’s eye view into an infamous UK crime.
In 2007, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg brought us Hot Fuzz. Hot Fuzz was the answer to the question ‘why doesn’t Britain make big, over the top cop movies’. Everybody involved in this has clearly never seen Hot Fuzz.
Now, it’s not that the Sweeney is a bad film, it really isn’t. It just isn’t the Sweeney. It’s directed by the uber-talented Nick Love. the problem is, Love seems to think he is directing the next big classic. But, this isn’t Heat, and Winstone and Plan B aren’t DeNiro and Pacino. However, Ray Winstone is well cast as Reagan and puts in one of his best performances in recent years. But, Plan B just comes across as a poor man’s Tom Hardy. He mumbles his lines and tries to come across as sinister, but just comes across as miscast. The film doesn’t quite know if it wants to be a full-on action film or a police procedural. It doesn’t do both particularly well. There is a fantastically shot, shoot-out in Trafalgar Square that falls flat, due to the fact that there are approximately 11 bystanders, that’s right 11 by-standers in Trafalgar Square, the streets of central London have absolutely no traffic, which means we get cool shots of Winstone speeding along Waterloo bridge, but if you know anything about London, it instantly takes you out of the moment.
The villains are two-dimensional and get interrogated in a white office, with a great view of London, full with the latest Macbook’s and digital video cameras, but they never ask for lawyers.
If you’re a fan of the original series and you’re thinking of watching this, don’t. But, If you’re at a loose end one evening, stick this on and enjoy with the alcoholic beverage of your choice.
The Sweeney is out on DVD January 21st
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