Director: Ronnie Thompson
Cast: Matthew Goode, Phil Daniels, Larry Lamb
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The incident on which The Hatton Garden Job was based has become quite a popular story over the last couple of years and it’s no surprise that it’s been given a film treatment. The tale of elderly men pulling off a huge job in London’s diamond district, stealing money from those who could likely afford the insurance for such a situation, is something that inspires an odd kind of respect, a sense that, even though they broke the law, there was also an achievement in what they managed to accomplish.
This is something very much at the heart of the film adaptation, which, for all its derivative stylings, is also very approachable.
It’s easy to say straight away that if you are at all cynical about the prospect of the movie, your time may be better spent elsewhere. The Hatton Garden Job is almost exactly what you think it will be. Full of traditional London geezers, Eastern Europeans coming in, threatening to bury those around them, and crooked cops, who are seen as the real bad guys of the situation, the whole thing is played out in the Guy Ritchie knock-off fashion of the early 00s. Saying this, though, if you like that kind of thing (especially TV versions of heists, such as the long-running BBC series Hustle), you’ll likely have a solid 90 minutes or so.
The focus on older characters lends a quieter sense to proceedings. Instead of the usual “Fack off you slag!” insults and massive lad bantz, you get Phil Daniels, Clive Russell, Larry Lamb and others trying to prove they’ve still got it. The casting of Matthew Goode as the guy at the centre of it all (Larry Lamb and Phil Daniels do not a greenlight make) feels contrived, but, along with Joely Richardson (very much in the “and” role), it gives the endeavour a greater sense of respectability. Their presence elevates this from the TV-feel of the direction, with helmer Ronnie Thompson obviously working with a fairly small budget and unable to give the heist the cinematic feel you’d expect. Nonetheless, you want to see these guys get away with it and, while emotional investment may be a bit of a reach, the end result is more than engaging enough, with Lamb and Daniels, in particular, giving their characters warmth and personality.
The Hatton Garden Job is not groundbreaking cinema but for an easy hour-and-a-half, you can do far worse. Derivative and visually uninventive it may be, but the characters work and that’s enough for this to earn a recommendation.
The Hatton Garden Job is available on Sky Cinema. Don’t have Sky? You can also stream it on NOW TV, as part of a £9.99 Sky Cinema Month Pass subscription – with a 14-day free trial.
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