Latest reviews of new albums:
King of Thieves
  • Composed by Benjamin Wallfisch
  • Milan / 42m

It only happened in 2015 but King of Thieves is already the third film about the Hatton Garden robbery in London (plus two tv series) – perhaps not surprising given how extraordinary it was, carried out by elderly burglars.  This is the most high-profile of the bunch by far, with Michael Caine leading the excellent cast.  Benjamin Wallfisch’s score is very good.  With a very deliberate nod towards the likes of John Barry Lalo Schifrin and Henry Mancini, he styles it largely as a throwback jazz caper score from the late 60s or early 70s.  The cimbalom of the opening “Reader’s Theme” is obviously very Barryesque, and then we go into distinctly funky jazz swing in “The Scheme”, complete with Mancini jazz flutes and Schifrin rhythms.  Back to Barry with the swooning strings of “Diamond Education”, the opening theme returning alongside them.

This is all very entertaining, and the score races along in this vein for a while before we arrive at the very impressive centrepiece.  First comes “Night at Hatton Garden”, a compelling piece of very stylish suspense music, and then best of all is “Sugar Plum Raid” for the robbery itself, in which Wallfisch turns Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” (subtly interpolated into the first of the pair of cues) into a piece of big band swing – it’s a truly inspired move and sounds terrific.  There are also some impressive tracks after that, sometimes with a more melancholic feel, and it ends on a high but Wallfisch can’t quite maintain the steam that he built up in the first half (and a couple of more modern-sounding cues stand out like sore thumbs and rather spoil the atmosphere).  Still, I’m sure most will be happy to settle for something that’s stylish, creative and has that classic heist movie sound for large parts and it’s a nice return to form for a talented composer whose move into more high-profile movies has coincided with a much less interesting style of music than we had heard from him before.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

Tags: , ,

  1. Mark (Reply) on Sunday 7 October, 2018 at 11:57

    Don’t be fooled by the decent score, however. The film is a complete mess. Such a waste of a good cast and a good story. It’s painfully lifeless and amateur.

    • Jules (Reply) on Monday 8 October, 2018 at 13:35

      Sad to hear that. This score is an absolute ripper, one of my favourites of the year.