What can be said about Michael Caine that hasn’t been said before?
The man is a treasure. One of the last true personality or je ne sais quoi actors. These were the norm before method took over and actors weren’t content with stardom or excellence.
After method they had to be artists in their own right. What an unbearably pretentious sentiment. Caine is a throwback to Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and Cary Grant. An actor who was interesting to watch simply because of the passion and personality they brought to the role. Not because they pretended to be Lincoln for months on end, or actually got drunk during scenes.
Caine has always been interesting to watch. I honestly can’t think of higher praise to give an actor than that.
His latest film is a perfect example of his unending charm. There isn’t much going on in “King of Thieves” yet it’s still a highly enjoyable picture.
“Thieves” tells the true story of the Hatton Garden Burglary that took place in 2015. Millions of pounds were stolen in the form of valuables, bonds and more by four elderly criminals.
The film focuses on the heist and the emotional aftermath for career crooks.
This sounds like an interesting premise, but the script isn’t particularly well structured. This isn’t a classic heist film like “Ocean’s 11” or Caine’s own iconic “Italian Job.” The viewer isn’t treated to an objectively compelling yarn. The movie basically just portrays what happened. In other words the film doesn’t come in three compelling acts.
The first hour is about the heist and the second centers on the fallout. But with Caine heading up a great cast it’s immensely watchable. Basically this was a geriatric scenery chewing contest with the primary competitors being Caine and co-star Jim Broadbent.
The film is consistently funny, constantly playing off how old everyone is. And this is the first time I can remember thinking of Caine as genuinely old. His physical movement is becoming restricted. And its not as if he hasn’t been playing his age recently.
Ten years ago he brought both Alfred Pennyworth and Harry Brown, sort of a “Death Wish” for the geriatric set.
Through his many years of wear and tear that razor sharp cockney spirit still burns.
Aside from the performances the most interesting thing about “King of Thieves” is watching elderly criminals struggle with some pretty big ego drama. If you’ve ever wondered what non-violent career thieves look like in retirement well, this film is for you.
The end result isn’t an instant classic, but it is entertaining. Especially with Caine leading the geriatric charge.