5 May 2000 | Oro-Indiano
I remember when I was about 5 years old I saw a film about two soldiers who steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Latterly, I didn't remember much about it (obviously) or even what it was called, only that I loved it. So I was pleasantly surprised recently, when I stayed to watch the late movie on telly one night and it all came flooding back...
Quite why I would have loved "The Jokers" so much when I was five is beyond me, as most of the humour would have probably gone straight over my head. I must have loved the ingenuity of the brothers' scheme and the twists at the closing stages. But then, this movie is so incredibly easy to like - it rattles along at a cracking pace with a deftness of touch not usually associated with Michael Winner, it looks like a tourist film of London, it's a pleasing thriller, and it's pretty funny to boot. There are some priceless lines, including a couple which only an Englishman could find funny. And of course you have two great central performances, from the sterling Michael Crawford, and Oliver Reed.
There are many advances in technology which would render crucial details of the plan unworkable today, making the movie very much a product of its times; but baby, what times! The Swinging London of the late 60s, as so affectionately sent up in the "Austin Powers" flicks, is presented here as decadently appealing, if shallow, an endless round of booze and birds. If there's any sour note it is that the "system" which the brothers want to ridicule seems to have been very kind to them along the way. But it's hardly a film to be making profound political statements, so one can't complain. Instead just sit back and enjoy this superbly entertaining little gem, as much fun now as it was when I was five years old!