I am a sucker for action movies, heist/crime movies, or a decent trailer. The prior two years I got suckered into a movie dumped near the beginning of the year when nothing else was released and I thought they would be great. Last year it was Sleepless and the year before that it was Triple 9. I thought that Den of Thieves would be better than that even though the voice in the back of my head told me otherwise. So how was it?
I would give it 4 “50 Cent … s on the dollar” out of 10. Much better than the other two movies mentioned, but could have been a lot better.
A hardened crew of bank robbers comes up against a crooked LA Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes task force. They eventually play cat and mouse with each other leading towards an eventual showdown.
Directed by: Christian Gudegast
Written by: Christian Gudegast and Paul Scheuring
Starring: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, Oshea Jackson Jr., Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mo McRae, and Evan Jones
The action was very well choreographed and the acting was phenomenal considering the appeal of the movie. Considering it is a January release with some less than top tier talent, I was very surprised how realistic most of the action scenes were pulled off. While I am far from an expert, the gun choreography closely resembled John Wick. The tension kept ramping up during the heists, chases, and shootouts; so that definitely helped keep me interested despite the run time. As far as acting goes, no one will be winning an Oscar but these were all solid performances.
All of the tension seemed to fizzle out, which is not what you want in an action or heist movie. It could be due to the run time, the lack of a clear ending that would have been cathartic, or just a poor script. At the conclusion of the final shootout for the show I was in, about a quarter of the (already small) audience left despite the movie still having several minutes left. Without spoiling the ending, it is foreshadowed pretty heavily and ends how you figured … but not very satisfying.
For a January relase action movie that was 14 years in the making (according to the director), it was very underwhelming. For an action movie starring Gerard Butler that would do well on basic cable, it was still a little long. It felt like a cheap imitation of Heat, but that could have been due to the heists and lack of music over the shootouts. Overall, I would say it is a solid Redbox or Netflix watch … especially if you like bank robbery movies. If you are a big fan of heists, then you might want to check it out during a matinee showing.