Den of Thieves

  • 03 Feb - 09 Feb, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Den of Thieves may be a poor-man’s reworking of Michael Mann’s Heat, it is, nevertheless, one of the better bone-headed actioners Gerard Butler has done in the last few years.

Christian Gudegast, the writer and director of the movie, moves a tad too slowly through the entire two-hour runtime – however, he does make sure that the slowness doesn’t impact the narrative or the action. In fact, Den of Thieves starts with an action sequence: a group of masked men surround, open fire on, and then get away with an armoured truck with nothing inside.

The group is revelled to be of Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber), a recently released criminal who is so ingenious that his plans have never been untangled by the authorities. His group of ex-military men (which includes the rapper 50 Cent as Levi), have plans to make-off with $30 million dollars of the government’s money from the Federal reserve.

Their roadblock is a just-as-bad corrupt L.A. cop “Big Nick” O’Brian (Butler). Big Nick reeks of alcohol, courtesans, and soon ends up on the verge of divorce. The timing of his domestic troubles is witty, providing the movie just enough divergence and grounding to set it apart from today’s inane blockbusters.

Den of Thieves isn’t a blockbuster, mind you. It is, surprisingly, very similar to old Nicolas Cage or Jerry Bruckheimer movies like Con Air or Face/ Off in tone (albeit a bit leisurely at pace). Gudegast especially explores a little-to-no background score to accentuate the feeling of real-world drama in a preposterous – and quite evident – heist action movie.

The ambience works in most of the scenes, and although I wasn’t particularly enthused with the trailer, the movie isn’t as awful as one originally thought it was. If you thought Butler’s career was over after Geostorm, give this one a chance. It will, at the very least, help you live through the next batch of Butler’s bad movies. •