Unlike our Editor, who can’t remember his own name most of the time especially on a Saturday morning after a big night out, most of us can’t remember what happened a year ago. However most of us remember the bank theft of untold millions from safe deposit boxes from a Hatton Garden bank. Committed over a long Easter weekend the gang of thieves got away with a fortune wowwing the country with the audacity of the old school crime but shocking the public even more when they were caught as it turned out to be a bunch of pensioners played here by Larry Lamb, Phil Daniels (whose Quadrophenia days would seem to be a distant memory now) and David Calder all led by a young male (Matthew Goode) whose name we never know even at the end of the film as he is, to this day, a mystery having never been caught.
Directed by Ronnie Thompson whose previous films include ‘I am Soldier’ and ‘Tower Block’, he’s taken several pages from the Guy Ritchie book of film directing because this contains many of his trademarks – freeze frames, zippy graphics and even more zippy camera moves albeit that some of the freeze frames where the action stops mid flow feel more like a glitch as the temporary pause goes on a beat too long before the voiceover kicks in.
It’s Goode’s man of mystery who, having spent time banged up inside, is given the idea by some old lags and in turn he puts the team together to commit what is one of the most memorable crimes this century. Thrown into this is a corrupt ex-cop and a brassy blonde East European gangster played by Joely Richardson who still looks great but like Phil Daniels her super glam days are sadly behind her but perhaps this leads her to more heavyweight roles (which frankly his is not). Most of the film is the cursory plotting and execution of the theft but does leave some of the facts out which have led more of a frisson to proceedings notably the fact that police unit that did attend a triggered alarm is not shown here. And there seem to be a fair few holes in their plan as most of the underworld seemed to know about what they intended and the gang even leave their plans lying around in a warehouse where they plotted the operation for no obvious reason except to maybe get caught. Whether any of this actually happened is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the other failing is that though it’s know n that the gang bar one were eventually caught just as compelling would the investigation as to how they were all caught.
At 90 minutes it moves along briskly enough but it’s this speed that leaves you wanting to know a bit more detail than is shown here much of which is known from the coverage in the press at the time in what feels a bit too much like a comic romp than a true life crime.
Here’s the trailer…….