Thursday, 22 February 2018

Chuckles Film Challenge-Hatton Garden


I've always been a film fan and enjoyed nothing better than curling up in my bed with the lights out and some junk food. That changed when I became more interested in reading and in the last five years I've barely watched anything new at all. Now I think I need to motivate myself for watching films by doing an actual year long challenge and trying to get them watched!

I actually have two films to report on today, both based on the real life heist at Hatton Garden, where a group of old time robbers decide on one last job to make them rich but of course it goes wrong. There is a third film about it coming out later this year but I picked these two up cheap and watched them back to back.

1) Hatton Garden: The Heist 
Following the lead up to one of the biggest robberies of the century, Hatton Garden The Heist watches the journey of Brian Reader, John Collins, Terry Perkins, Daniel Jones and the mysterious Basil throughout the audacious heist.  

Starring Michael McKell, Sidney Livingstone, Robert Putt 

The plot in this book suggests that the mysterious Basil, who has yet to be caught was the colleague of gang leader Brian who set up the whole plan. He is portrayed as being the real brains of the operation, the only one who wore a disguise and covered his face when he passed security cameras, and the one who took his share of the loot and vanished straight after the raid. He was known only as Basil and nobody seemed to know his real name. The other characters come across as not being very smart, especially Danny who acts like an arse all the time and doesn't seem to take any of the planning seriously. In fact the men seem to spend more time joking about sex, swearing non stop and acting like idiots than planning a proper heist. If they were like that in real life, no wonder it went wrong. One thing I did like was the detail after the raid, showing how the police were watching them prior to their arrest.

It was very slow to get going. After 30 minutes there was very little about the planning and during the drilling of the holes into the vault, we had dreadfully arty shots of the drill going in at the same time as a couple were having sex outside the building. I found that totally stupid and it added nothing to the film. The camera work was also shaky at times and it was clear that this was a cheap cash-in film with some questionable acting. It wasn't great and I had expected something better.

2) The Hatton Garden Job 
In April 2015, the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, an underground safe deposit facility in London's Hatton Garden area, was burgled by 4 elderly men. The total stolen may have a value of up to £200 million, the incident has been called the "largest burglary in English history."

Starring: Larry Lamb, Clive Russell, Phil Daniels, Matthew Goode, Stephen Moyer 

This film differed considerably from the first one I watched and I actually enjoyed this one. In this Basil is a younger man recruited by the Hungarian Mafia to assemble a team for the raid, with the Mafia providing them with a way in. Basil recruits old friend Danny who puts together a Dads Army of a team to do the heist. The cop who last jailed Basil is retired but working for a gangland figure who wants something from the vault and Basil is to get it for him. The acting in this was far superior as was the script and the overall entertainment.

There is a lot of detail on the planning stages of the raid which I liked. A heist film should show the planning and the heist in detail the way Ocean's Eleven does. This film does delve into the interactions between the robbers and shows the corrupt gangland world that the men operate in. The heist itself was well done, showing all the details of how things went wrong and what they had to do to rescue the situation. The one thing that was a little disappointing is that it finishes with Basil making his escape, and we only get a minute about how the other men were caught. I'd have liked to have seen the police operation rounding them up afterwards. That extra fifteen or twenty minutes would have been good. Overall I liked it enough to buy a book about the raid.


  1. Wow, I've never heard of this heist. I must have been living under a rock. It sounds interesting so I'll have to keep my eye open for at least one of these.

    1. Yeah the second film for me was certainly the better. The first one has been dumped in a charity shop!

  2. I guess it did its job, got you to buy the book. :-) Hope you enjoy it.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. Well the second film did! They are both so different in detail that I'm curious about which is nearer the truth. The second feels a bit more Ocean's 11...!