Starring Gerard Butler and Pablo Schreiber Big Nick (Gerard Butler) is a tough, no-nonsense cop who heads up the Major Los Angeles crimes unit.
Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber) is a career criminal with military training who’s planning a major heist on the Federal Bank Reserve downtown with the help of Donnie (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.), a skilled driver who’s caught between the two.
So we have a highly skilled team of bank robbers led by a ruthless, leader with dead eyes and the free-wheeling cop. Interestingly the two central characters have their roles flipped, the one who you think is a criminal is actually a decent person, whilst the cop is actually a villain who is also a terrible husband. The story introduces the two crews, but never bothers to fill them out enough to a point where you’d actually care what happens to them.
“Den of Thieves” doesn’t know precisely the type of movie that it wants to be all the way through its story. At times, the film feels like a grimy and mean cop while other sequences in the movie feel a bit more lighthearted and exciting.
Christian Gudegast’s direction is resolutely uninspired, and none of the action sequences which are nestled between what feels like hours of boring dialogue are even remotely thrilling to the viewer. Gerard Butler comes off like a poor man’s Al Pacino while the only person in the cast with any brilliance is O’Shea Jackson Jr, however his ending is so laughable it spoils the whole affair.
The film is a 90-minute thriller stretched out over almost two and a half hours. The result? A series of narrative and tonal left turns that throw the movie off-balance and keep the audience guessing as to the type of film that they’re supposed to be watching.
If you ever viewed the movie “Heat” then it’s like watching a poor remake.
Rated MA 15plus 5 out of 10