The Hatton Garden Job
Many may remember waking up to the news of the Hatton Garden heist in April 2015, where a gang of veteran thieves executed “the biggest theft in history”. It was such a remarkable real life drama that it’s hardly a surprise it had all the ingredients for the big screen. Exactly two years on, Ronnie Thompson has directed a gripping but lighthearted crime film boasting a cast of big British names including Matthew Goode and Larry Lamb.
How a team of elderly criminals managed to bypass security in the iconic jewellery district, and steal goods worth up to £200 million by drilling holes in the wall, is virtually unfathomable. The Hatton Garden Job shines a torchlight on what really happened inside the vault, presenting it as a surprisingly straightforward affair, with a no-nonsense narrative and explanatory freeze-frames provided by Goode.
The film spends a large proportion of time on events leading up to the heist and introducing the East End gang members along with their respective roles: Kenny “The Driver” (Clive Russell), Terry “The Fixer” (David Calder), Brian “The Mastermind” (Larry Lamb). Emphasis is placed on this being an old-school crime requiring old-school criminals, where age equals experience – the incentive is a hefty pension plan of millions. The concept of age being but a number is further reiterated by chilling stand-offs with much younger characters, drawing out some very decent performances from the cast.
One of the movie’s weaknesses is its attempt to extend the gang narrative and inject artificial drama into the plot; for example, the heist is ordered by the glamorous wife of a Hungarian war criminal. In the role, Joely Richardson struggles to maintain a convincing accent, even if she does provide a striking presence as icy as her diamonds. A particularly laughable and borderline slapstick scene also sees a haphazard security guard investigate by simply peeping through the letterbox.
Though the pace is slow to pick up, unaided by distracting elevator-style music, the unfolding action of the breaking and entering is gripping and suspenseful when it matters; it’s tense despite the audience’s knowledge of the eventual outcome. This momentum carries the film through to the end with a satisfying climax.
The characters cheekily brand themselves “OAP’s Eleven” whilst plotting over a pint at the pub, though The Hatton Garden Job is a far cry from the slick glamour of Ocean’s Eleven. It’s also no Italian Job, but it will make for an entertaining – and vaguely informative – trip to the cinema.
The Hatton Garden Job is released nationwide on 14th April 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Hatton Garden Job here: