Following the story of one of the most incredible bank robberies in British history, ‘The Hatton Garden Job’ is a story that follows the men behind the heist and how they managed to pull off their heist. It should be a tense, dramatic tale but somehow the film lacks pace and any drama throughout, instead relying on its characters to try and elevate the film beyond the mediocrity it eventually ends up falling into.
The story actually starts at a pretty lively pace as we’re introduced to each of the characters via the voice over of Matthew Goode and the heist and its stakes are established early on, leaving time, you’d imagine, to build the characters up and build tension. Unfortunately, when the characters are introduced they feel so two dimensional and have no character depth beyond sinking into a cockney stereotype. Despite their charismatic charm and obvious chemistry together as a group, its not enough to elevate the poor pacing and dramaless recreation of the heist.
From the planning through to the actual execution, the height of tension comes from one guard “on call” who decides he’s not paid enough to investigate why a silent alarm has been tripped and leaves. The entire heist scene plays out like a relaxing break from their ordinary lives. This is only exacerbated by an entire slow motion scene of the lads all eating a packed lunch and joking together while drilling into the vault. Its a shame really because this could have actually been a decent drama with some good tension for those unfamiliar with the heist. The lack of drama ultimately affects the entire mood of the film and it turns it into a regrettably drab affair where we generally don’t care whether these characters succeed or not.
Stylistically, the film can’t be faulted. Director Ronnie Thompson does a really good job with some excellent shots. There’s a real Danny Boyle feel with this film and whether it be the way the characters are introduced with a voice-over and freeze-frames or subtly using different colour palettes with each character, the film looks great. Its just such a shame that this film doesn’t do the real story justice; opting for more fiction than fact doesn’t do it any favours.
Overall, The Hatton Garden Job is a real disappointment and despite a promising opening quarter of an hour or so, the film never builds any drama or feels like its going anywhere other than a casual stroll with the old-timers during their fun day out pulling off the heist. There’s potential here and with the right script and some much-needed pace, the film could have been great but ultimately its not. Just like its ageing cast, it creaks and groans from start to finish and never gets going.