There are times where some people root for criminals in both the movies and in real life. Whether it is the “spur of the moment” robber who goes in with a weapon and no real planning or the sophisticated gang who does months and months of planning.
“Den of Thieves” is the new film co-written and directed by Christian Gudegast (who is making his feature film directorial debut). With a cast that includes Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen), Pablo Schreiber (13 Hours, Bubble Boy), Dawn Oliveri (Bright, American Hustle), 50 Cent (Spy, Get Rich or Die Tryin’), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton, Ingrid Goes West), Brian Van Holt (Basic, House of Wax), Kaiwi Lyman (Hickok, American Violence), and Moe McRae (Wild, Thirteen), it takes place in Los Angeles with Nick Flanagan (Butler), a rough-around-the-edges cop who leads an elite unit for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. Nick is on the trail of a sophisticated group of career criminals led by Merrimen (Schreiber), who plan the ultimate robbery of their local Federal Reserve Bank.
The film basically takes place in one section of Los Angeles and shows the city well, especially in the grittier areas. I also liked the lighting and cinematography used, really enhanced the action. When it comes to the acting, the supporting cast does well and does not try to outshine the leads. I have to give a shout out to Jackson, Jr., who is able to play a part that everything he does is done for a reason as well as Butler and Schreiber who truly feed off each other as they try to mentally out maneuver each other.
Be aware that “Den of Thieves” runs two hours and twenty minutes, so it is long. I did like the build-up moments and the soundtrack enhanced it for emotional scenes, coupled with its more graphic moments and some good quick comic moments. Here is my issue, though: the film is basically “Heat,” which was a turn off for me. I will still recommend this film, but as a matinee showing in the theaters.