More testosterone, more guns, more mumbling, is not something you’re ever going to scream after watching Den Of Thieves, the new film starring Gerard Butler.
Den Of Thieves sees Butler (Geostorm, London Has Fallen) play ‘Big Nick’ O’Brien. A lieutenant in a unit of the LA County Sheriff’s department.
He has alongside him a bunch of men, I mean, men’s men. Big muscly men with tattoos who drink beer, use prostitutes and shoot big guns. I’d tell you who they are but, frankly, they’re not important.
Ray Merrimen, Pablo Schreiber (American Gods (TV), Orange Is The New Black (TV)), is a man fresh out of jail who assembles a crew, which includes 50 Cent (Southpaw, Last Vegas), Evan Jones (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, 8 Mile) and O’Shea Jackson Jr (Ingrid Goes West, Straight Outta Compton).
The purpose of this crew is to pull off the bank heist to end all bank heists. They’re going to rob the US Federal Reserve. They plot an elaborate way in, heist and out, involving more things that could wrong then you could list.
Butler and his men, meanwhile, are going all out to stop them. Butler is also drinking too much (of course) and has just been given divorce papers and isn’t seeing his kids an awful lot.
Can the men from this unit of the LA County Sheriff’s department stop the former prisoners from pulling off the biggest heist ever? Or will the crew take home more than 50 cents?
Den Of Thieves is a departure for Butler, slightly at least. Yes there’s big guns, big muscles and big tattoos, but writer and director Christian Gudegast (London Has Fallen, A Man Apart) decides to take things slow with his latest outing.
Rather then an out and out action movie, Gudegast intermingles the action with slow scenes, even one of Butler crying. The issue with this is that we don’t get to see Butler with his wife and kids and, given what we do see of him, it’s hard to imagine him getting as far as he has in the family department. So, it’s all a bit of a distraction that we can do without, particularly in a film that runs at two-hours and twenty minutes.
That aside, this is one of Butler’s better roles, it may even be his best. Meanwhile, Curtis ’50 pence’ Jackson mumbles his way through the film. I’m sure he has lines, I just couldn’t hear any of them.
Schreiber does his best to look menacing and scary but he’s surrounded by men twice his size so it never really takes hold. O’Shea Jackson Jr. crosses both sides as he’s picked up by Butler’s men but, for some reason, Schreiber seems ok with this and continues with the plans.
It’s one of those films whereby our two main protagonists, Butler and Schreiber, survive the bullets flying to end up in a shoot-out that wouldn’t go amiss on Police Squad!
It’s this, and quite a few other points, that if you try and think about Den Of Thieves, it falls apart. For example, near the end, why not just shoot him in the legs, under the car?
Den Of Thieves is nowhere near the worst Butler film you’ll watch, it’s not the worst action film either. It’s the dramatic attempts that fail and it’s this that stop it being in the leagues of say, Training Day or The Usual Suspects, which you get the impression is where they’d like it to be.
There’s not enough depth to the characters, not enough insight for us to care. However, don’t think too hard about it, enjoy the deafening gun fire and you can enjoy Den Of Thieves, though you may not want to sit through over two hours of it again.
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