Den of Thieves
Directed by: Christian Gudegast
Written by: Christian Gudegast
Released: January 19, 2018
Starring: Gerard Butler, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Pablo Schreiber, O’shea Jackson Jr.
If you haven’t seen the constant promotion of Den of Thieves by 50 Cent, you obviously have been off of social media. 50 Cent promoted this movie so hard that I was sure that he was the main star in the movie and it would just be a heist version of “Get Rich or Die Trying.” Oh, how I was wrong. This movie was the type of heist movie that I have been waiting for since Ocean’s 11, but way grittier.
Den of Thieves is about an elite unit from the Los Angeles police department, led by Gerard Butler’s character Big Nick, trying to take down a crew of successful bank robbers who are planning a heist at the LA Federal Reserve. Pablo Schreiber plays Merrimen who leads the crew that is comprised of Levi (50 Cent), Bosco (Evan Jones) and Donnie (O’Shea Jackson). The crew has a few run-in with the sheriff’s office that leads to a confrontation that had the entire movie theater sounding like a war zone.
The story was a basic one of bad guys vs. good guys, even though the good guys don’t play by the rules. Big Nick even states this during a scene with Donnie stating that “he is in a gang, but they have badges.” The 2 hours and 2-minute movie flows from quickly introducing the characters, to several flashback sequences, and right into the main heist that was advertised in the trailers. There were only a few slow moments through the movie, but nothing too serious that derailed the main plot. Several storylines such as the one dealing with Big Nick’s family could have been left out. Nevertheless, they didn’t mess with the narrative.
The action sequences were very on point. One of my pet peeves in action movies is that there is always someone who happens to be an excellent shot and can take people out with extremely well-placed shots. This movie did the complete opposite and had the firefights resemble those that would take place.
The only complaint that I would have about the movie is the actual execution of the heist on the federal reserve. It seemed that there were too many convenient situations that allowed the bank robbers to move quickly and execute their plans. The writers of the movie tried to tie this all in together at the end, but I felt that it could have been more thoroughly explained during the actual planning phases of the movie. Also, I think that 50 Cent should have had a bigger role due to how much promoting he did for the movie. Many people that I know that went to see the film stated that they were only interested because of 50 Cent. But either way, he did a good job playing his character.
Being that this movie was marketed as a heist action movie, Den of Thieves delivered completely. The ending was expected, but I enjoyed the movie. I think that O’shea Jackson Jr. is becoming a decent actor in his own right and will be able to step out of his father’s (Ice Cube) shadow eventually. Also, I liked seeing Gerard Butler playing a tough as nails cop. His humorous side was on display the entire movie, and it just seemed natural for him. I would rate Den of Thieves four out of five stars. As a movie consumer, I was not bored at all with the movie and was fully entertained.