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The Thief Lord Review

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Two brothers run away to Venice to hide from evil relatives and wind up in a raggle-taggle kid gang run by Scipio - the thief lord.

★★★★★

Here’s something you don’t see too often — a kids’ fantasy film based on a book that isn’t by J. K. Rowling. Instead the source is a popular tome for tweenies by Cornelia Funke, set in Venice. It is to there that orphan Prosper (Aaron Johnson) smuggles his six year-old brother Bo (Jasper Harris) to escape their nasty aunt and uncle, and, lost among the winding streets and canals, meet teen Scipio (Rollo Weeks), the ‘Thief Lord’ of the title who steals from the rich to support a rag-tag bunch of kids who live in an abandoned cinema. Unlike Potter, this doesn’t have much appeal for the over-15s — none of the kids have much character — and annoyingly, everyone in the Italian city speaks with an English accent. But younger viewers may get a kick out of the self-sufficient tykes getting one over on the adults.

Set firmly in kiddie territory, this is one for parents to snooze off in and wake in time to take the offspring home.

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