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King of Thieves

King of Thieves: Rollercoaster Ride Minus the Thrill

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  • Charlie CoxMichael Caine...
  • Action & AdventureCrime...
  • James Marsh
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Cairo 360
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King of Thieves: Rollercoaster Ride Minus the Thrill

As a child, riding a kid’s rollercoaster was a scary, but thrilling, experience. If, however, you were to ride that same rollercoaster now, surely it wouldn’t be as thrilling. King of Thieves is a heist film, there is no doubt about that, but the issue is that the thrill associated with the heist is nowhere to be found.

King of Thieves follows a group of crooks, led by retired master Brian Reader (Michael Caine), who comes out of retirement for one last major job. But, as power struggles and greed come into play, what started as a well-coordinated heist spirals into a full-blown mess.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001) for the elderly? Hardly.

The film’s plot is very messy and captures, neither a brilliant heist nor a clever getaway. Instead, the film conveys a sloppy job and moronic mistakes that lead to an anticlimactic arrest.

The film is based on a true story, but why that story is worth making a film about, is a question for the ages. A group of elderly thieves pull off the most amateurish of heists and obviously ended up getting caught. So unless the film is a comedy, there is no point.

The makers of King of Thieves also left out basic sense, with characters suddenly and completely changing their beliefs, completely unsupported by the character’s arc. For example Brian Reader, who’s just lost the wife he promised he would “stay out of trouble” to, and at whose funeral he scolds his friends for talking about potential jobs, suddenly decides to lead the entire operation.

The film’s screenplay is another disaster. With empty threats, excessive cursing to fake toughness, and cliché mafia quotes that may be old but are surely not gold. King of Thieves is a star-studded feature and, even though that might have audiences flocking to the theatres, they will definitely be flocking out just as fast.

As for the acting, Michael Caine asserts the power of his talent with authentic facial expressions and charisma, but unfortunately, despite all his efforts, the screenplay and the film’s plot sink his performance and the film in general; even his renowned skills couldn’t save the film. Other members of the criminal gang include Ray Winston, Tom Courtenay, and Jim Broadbent. Winston was able to covey his tough-guy character but, the interrelations between Winston’s character and the rest of the team are confusing, which was mainly the fault of the screenplay. The same issue continued with Courtenay’s character; the character was supposed to be conveyed as two-faced, but ended up being indistinct.  Broadbent was the main standout of the crowd with on-point facial expressions and one of the few (if not the only) lasting impressions on audiences.

If you think an all-star cast makes for a good film, think again and save your time and money.


Like This? Try

Ocean's Eleven (2001), Entrapment (1999), Ocean's 8 (2018), Inception (2010). 

360 Tip

The events depicted in this film are, astonishingly, based on a true story. During the Easter bank holiday period April 2015 a gang of middle aged and OAP veteran criminals really did break into The Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in central London using the methods depicted in this film and stole somewhere between £14 million to £25 million worth of valuables from safety deposit boxes (the exact amount is unclear as customers with safety deposit boxes didn't necessarily want to report what their boxes contained). 

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