Recently caught up on the film version of the unprecedented Hatton Garden heist in London in 2015 – The Hatton Garden Job.
It could have been the fact I watched it distractedly during a flight from Australia to the UK, but it was no match for a Vanity Fair article I’d read the year following the heist. Mark Seal’s exhaustive and superbly-crafted analysis into the crime, the characters and the ensuing investigation by the police detectives who tracked down the ‘ragtag gang of retirees’ reads like a thriller:
British crime aficionados saw the operation as a refreshing throwback to the meticulously planned, supremely executed jewelry heists of yesteryear, the ones that had inspired such classic crime movies as To Catch a Thief and Topkapi. Many were calling it “the perfect crime.”
The film however fails to capture the articulate genius that was behind how the burglary manifested itself into reality, the psychologies of the key players, and the sheer audacity of their actions.
While some of the leadup to the Easter weekend and the aftermath is covered, and a Russian mob boss character introduced to spice things up a little, the remaining storyline centres on the break in to, and emptying of, the vaults. While this in itself was risky, it feels like only one part of the story.
A little brevity is added with some comical moments but there is an overriding sense in that the troupe were a hapless band of seniors that just got lucky.
A more fascinating watch is also the BBC Wales’ documentary, The Hatton Garden Heist: