Den of Thieves

First Hit:  Although interesting at times, overall it wasn’t a really good heist film.

I love good heist films. The original 1960 “Oceans 11” and the 2001 “Oceans Eleven” films were fun examples of heist films as was “The Thomas Crown Affair” in its own way.

Here we have, what we’re made to believe is, a set of former military men fresh out of prison planning to rob the LA Federal Reserve Bank. Although the general plot line was interesting enough, the twist can be spotted early on, which makes watching this an exercise in waiting for the cat to be out of the bag.

Chasing this gang of thieves is a miss-fit Sheriff's unit lead by Big Nick O’Brian (Gerard Butler). His gang of thuggish deputies determine that Ray Merriman (Pablo Schreiber) and his group of thieves, Enson Levoux (Curtis “50 cent” Jackson), and Bo “Bosco” Ostroman (Evan Jones) have been responsible for all the unsolved bank robberies in LA.

To introduce Donnie Wilson (O'Shea Jackson Jr.), the film has Merriman adding Wilson as a driver to assist his crew in robbing banks.

The interaction between the Sheriff and his deputies and the thieves is ridiculous. Especially when they interrogate Donnie in a motel room and when Big Nick walks into a restaurant where the whole gang is celebrating. The interaction is unrealistic.

We are also treated to the ass like ways of Big Nick when he’s trying to tell his wife to not leave him, sitting at a strip club, and speaking with his FBI counterpart.

Some of the ingenious planning and execution of the robbery was interesting, but in the end it just fell flat and lacked luster of any kind.

Butler played a jerk and there was nothing that would have the audience care about what happens to him. His behavior almost deserved a movie death. Schreiber was good enough to believe he was hardened and didn’t want to go back to jail. 50 cent was good, although I keep sensing he needs to lose who he is so that he can become an actor of merit. I did love the garage scene when he takes his daughter’s date into the garage. Jones was strong and intense in his role. Jackson Jr. was OK, although I’m not sure I bought the premise of his involvement in the overall story. Christian Gudegast wrote and directed this, and it might be some time before he’s loaned money to do another film.

Overall: This film lacked effort, suspense, and a decent plot line.