One Mean Bean!
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 10/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In November 1983, in what was the biggest heist in Britain's history to date, gold bullion worth 26 million pounds sterling was stolen from a security warehouse in London. Fool's Gold, a 1992 British LWT film starring Sean Bean (Sharpe, Essex Boys, Extremely Dangerous, Bravo Two Zero, Lady Chatterley), tells the story of the heist and, more to the point, of what happened afterward. The theft was committed by a ruthless, brutal gang of career criminals orchestrated and lead by Micky McAvoy (Bean). By way of background, McAvoy was a workhorse for a group whom I can only describe as British mafia. He aspired to strike out on his own--to run his own show, so to speak--and decided on the security warehouse for his maiden heist. Though the theft is a matter of public record, I don't wish to reveal too much about the characters or the repercussions for those unfamiliar with events. Suffice it to say that these were small-time crooks and it was McAvoy's first job as head man--and it was a pure coincidence that the Brinks-Mat gold happened to be in the warehouse the weekend of the robbery. As a result, McAvoy finds himself faced with an even bigger problem than the theft: What does one do with 26 million in marked gold? The film is 104 minutes, and special features on the DVD include a Profile of Sean Bean and Daring Heists of the Twentieth Century, both of which are text-based. As for the film itself, like most British productions it benefits enormously from repeated viewings, and I found I got a lot more out of it (and hence enjoyed it far more) the second time around. The story is well told and the film impeccably cast. Bean (donning a Cockney accent here) excels in roles that require strong characters (be they good guys or bad ones), and his performance here is flawless. Worth mentioning is Trevor Byfield's absolutely splendid portrayal of McAvoy's best friend Jimmy Kimpton (the only major character who, though based on a real person, was fictional). He's a man on the horns of dilemma throughout. In conclusion, this is a story about a brutal and daring theft, but it is also a tale in which the mettle of loyalty and honour among thieves are tested against one of the basest motivators, that being greed. I would recommend this film to fans the true crime genre in general, or to fans of Sean Bean in particular. If, for example, you've enjoyed Bean's other hard-edged films dealing with life in the underworld of gangsters--films like Essex Boys or Extremely Dangerous--you'll likely enjoy this one."