Film Review: King of Thieves

James Marsh’s King of Thieves is a broadly enjoyable crime caper drama. The second half of the film falters, compared to a peppier first half. 

An ageing group of crooks contemplate an audacious job. Hatton Garden is the home of jewellery district. The group decide to pull off a heist that could earn them millions…

Telling the story behind the 2015 Hatton Garden robbery, King of Thieves combines a crime caper with a drama. Director James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) gives character to the little-known villains, and tells the story of the heist and the subsequent fallout.

Given that the events took place in very recent history, it is forgivable to question what the the film will offer. Nevertheless, King of Thieves is sufficiently entertaining, even if all the elements are not on point. The film is one of two halves. The first focuses on the build up to the heist and the job itself. The second concentrates on the gang’s behaviour after the robbery, and the police investigation.

The introduction of the main characters is adequate. Later in the film, Marsh’s focuses on the main players in the gang, and this works well. There is humour to be found, especially in the first half. Marsh lulls viewers into a sense of familiarity with the protagonists, before reminding of their menace. The crime caper aspects work well. The film falters as it progresses, however. This is because the dramatic aspects are not that impactful. The police investigation element is depicted in an interesting enough fashion, even if the investigators are nameless. The focus on the in-fighting of the gang does not engage in the same way the lead up to the heist did.

Michael Caine and Ray Winstone are perfectly fine, although they never leave their comfort zone. Jim Broadbent steals the show, portraying a menace that is striking. Charlie Cox also does well as the youngest member of the group. King of Thieves offers a great cast, but not that memorable of a film.

Film Review: The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

Twee drama The Theory of Everything is well acted, and looks the part. James Marsh’s film strive for sentiment is not wholly successful however.

Whilst a student at Cambridge, Stephen Hawking meets Literature student Jane Wilde. As their relationship develops, Stephen is diagnosed with motor neurone disease. The couple must overcome these difficulties, whilst Stephen pursues his promising career…

Director James Marsh offers a pleasant portrait of a relationship in The Theory of Everything. The film depicts the depth of feeling between Stephen and Jane. In this sense, it feels authentic.

The Theory of Everything touches upon Stephen Hawking’s career as punctuations on a journey, but does not excavate into his theories in any detail. Instead, the film concentrates on the couple’s relationship in this period. The nature of Stephen’s illness is a key factor in the relationship, and this is dealt with using physicality more than anything, and humour as appropriate.

The Theory of Everything is twee in its style and sentiment. Perhaps the depiction of Stephen and Jane’s marriage is realistic, but it is completely nice. In cinematic terms, this means that there is no strong dramatic curve. At times, Marsh and screenwriter Anthony McCarten aim at emotion, but deliver pleasantry. This would not necessarily be a bad thing, but the film lacks a hook which would make it truly engaging.

Eddie Redmayne offers a convincing performance as Stephen Hawking. The physicality of his performance appears authentic; he seems to embody the well known character. Felicity Jones is solid as Jane, and Charlie Cox offers decent support as Jonathan. Costumes and art direction go a long way to set the scene.

Those expecting a biopic of the famed scientist might be disappointed by The Theory of Everything. The film is a romantic drama first and foremost. The Theory of Everything is congenial, even if it lacks dramatic punch.