Although the film missed a major marketing opportunity by not being titled Ocean’s 85, the first trailer for King of Thieves nevertheless looks to be a similarly lighthearted and fun heist film. Instead of boasting George Clooney and Brad Pitt, or Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, this heist stars Michael Caine as the leader of a ragtag group of felonious senior citizens, looking to pull off a major heist in London’s jewel district. Joining Caine in his criminal endeavor are Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, and Ray Winstone. You know, just a couple of actors with a few years experience between them. Also joining the cast is Tom Courtenay (45 Years) and Daredevil’s Charlie Cox, who isn’t required to put on an elaborate costume or an American accent.
The film is directed by James Marsh, who recently helmed the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, as well as the 2008 documentary Man on Wire, and is inspired by the Hatton Garden heist that was carried out in 2015 by senior citizens, all of whom had criminal records. The “Based on a True Story” element will likely bring in some curious moviegoers, but the real attraction here is watching respected actors assemble to pull off a brazen and entertaining crime. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Hollywood or the U.K., everybody loves a good heist; they’re practically universal in their appeal.
The trailer itself offers up a snappy film that’s filled with plenty of self-deprecating humor and old men behaving badly. The brief preview is mercifully light on specific details about the crime and instead goes right for showing off the great chemistry between Cain and his crew. There are a few good laughs throughout, mostly from Gambon and Broadbent, but it also delivers a lively tone that has all the hallmarks of a good heist film. There’s the setup, the team coming together, and the crime itself. By now most audiences know what they’re going to get with movies like this, and King of Thieves seems no different.
While star-studded heist movies are instantly reminiscent of the Ocean’s films, this endeavor from across the pond, filled with actors of a certain age, feels more akin to Basil Dearden’s 1960 film The League of Gentlemen, which also featured a crew of aging criminals pulling off a daring heist. Whether or not King of Thieves will turn out to be like those films or the former remains to be seen, but it nevertheless looks like a charming late-summer movie.
The King of Thieves is expected in theaters on September 14.
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