DEN OF THIEVES is a gritty Los Angeles crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles.
What We Thought:
Den of Thieves is a pretty solid crime drama. It’s a bit too long and has some useless scenes/storylines, but overall I enjoyed the film.
It reminded me of a couple of other films I saw in the past year or so, Marauders and Triple 9. All three films are gritty with cops and bad guys and lots of action. If you liked those or other heist movies like The Town and Heat, you should like this.
Gerard Butler plays a cop investigating a crew of thieves. Pablo Schreiber is the head of the thieves along with 50 Cent, Evan Jones, Cooper Andrews (of The Walking Dead fame) and they bring in O’Shea Jackson Jr. as their new driver. All the thieves have something in common, they all have done time and have military backgrounds.
Because of that military background, there are some great action scenes. You expect the police and FBI to have tactical training, but because the bad guys are also trained men, the gun play is pretty top-notch. The opening action scene where they rob an armored truck is really good. The end shoot out is even better. The gun work is up there with the John Wick franchise. It doesn’t have much hand to hand combat, but the gun work is great.
My biggest issue with the film is that it’s way too long. It’s over 2 hours and it shouldn’t be more than an hour 45. There is a side story with Butler’s wife and kids that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. I guess they want to humanize the character, but those scenes do nothing for the film. Cut them out along with some other smaller scenes and the film is a lot tighter and smoother.
Other than the length and some bad foley work (your car wouldn’t make the beeping noise when the door is open if the keys aren’t in the ignition and some of the gun shot noises were off) I enjoyed Den of Thieves. It has a decent twist at the end and I actually expected it to go in a different direction. I’d explain what I mean, but that would spoil the twist. It’s not as over the top ridiculous as Butler’s recent work (Olympus Has Fallen/London Has Fallen) and it feels a lot more grounded/realistic because of it. The cast is also solid and O’Shea Jackson Jr. continues to impress me. If you grew up on 1980s and 1990s action films and are tired of sci-fi/comic movies, then the movie for you is…
Cast & Crew:
- Gerard Butler
- Pablo Schreiber
- O’Shea Jackson Jr.
- Brian van Holt
- Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
- Cooper Andrews
- Evan Jones
Recommended If You Like:
- Triple 9
- Crime Dramas