“Den of Thieves” talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. This means, we have some pointless or confusing dialogue, mixed with an overdose of dramatic effects, and yet, I’ve felt nothing.
The movie takes place in Los Angeles, and involves a group of bank robbers, who plan a heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of LA, one of the most impenetrable banks in the world. They include the leader Ray (Pablo Schreiber from “Orange is the New Black”), a family man Levi (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), and the newbie Donnie (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.).
The heist is simple. It includes robbing a small bank with several hostages, and Donnie has to be a Chinese food delivery boy for the big bank’s staff.
And then there’s Nick (Gerard Butler), a cop, who has his own unorthodox ways of handling business and getting answers from Donnie about the criminals. His wife (Dawn Olivieri) wants a divorce, he trades one-liners with other guys on the force, and through it all, he focuses on taking down the criminals. Although, I was barely able to read his character.
“Den of Thieves” is the directorial debut of Christian Gudegast, the writer of “A Man Apart” and “London Has Fallen.” He does a nice job of making the film look nice with its gritty look at crime on the streets of LA, and by giving impressive roles from Schreiber and Jackson, Jr.
But the problem with the movie is it’s nothing special. There are better movies of its kind like “Heat” or “Sicario,” but the story is pointless, the bullets overshadow the characters, and as I’ve said there are too many dramatic effects. Examples of that include long silent shots of characters looking and walking around, until someone finally speaks.
Butler and 50 Cent are both big talents, but you don’t really care for their characters in this one.