Mash up Heat with The Usual Suspects and suck out the entire character constructing, originality, rigidity, and enjoyable, and also you get Den of Thieves, an formidable however tedious film that manages to rob financial institution heists and shoot-outs of any sense of pleasure.
Den of Thieves begins with the statistic that each 48 minutes a financial institution is focused in Los Angeles, making it the bank-robbery capital of the world. If solely the thrills on this movie arrived that usually. This received’t be the one time the film depends on statistics to construct drama slightly than any stakes for the characters. It claims that there have been 53 makes an attempt to rob L.A.’s Federal Reserve, and that in each case the thieves didn’t make it previous the foyer. Den of Thieves facilities on a heist to steal 30 million dollars in out-of-circulation payments from the Reserve simply earlier than they’re shredded, which makes them untraceable foreign money.
The enigmatic chief of this heist is Merrimen, performed by the chameleonic Pablo Schreiber. Schreiber does all the pieces requested of him right here—which isn’t rather more than to recite exposition with a maniacal gleam in his eye. The Pacino to Merrimen’s De Niro is grizzled L.A. cop Nick Flanagan (Gerard Butler), who leads a special-crimes unit and has been attempting to nail Merrimen for a string of intricate robberies. Much just like the plot is a mix of borrowed parts, Flanagan is a hodgepodge of well-worn cop tropes. He’s continually smoking or consuming, he’s keen to interrupt the legislation to uphold it, and his conduct has pushed away his spouse and daughters.
Caught in the course of these two alphas’ cat-and-mouse sport is ex-con and bartender Donnie (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who will get recruited to be the heist crew’s driver. Or so he tells Flanagan when he’s kidnapped and interrogated. Donnie divulges information to Flanagan whereas inexplicably sustaining his place in Merrimen’s interior circle, permitting the heist to proceed as deliberate. This juncture is the place the film fully loses any momentum.
The movie can’t resolve whether or not it needs to channel the Ocean’s franchise and depict how the upcoming heist goes to go down, or concentrate on the psychological video games being performed between Flanagan and Merriman—so it spends an excessive amount of time doing each. Flanagan loses credibility as he vacillates between being a succesful detective and an impulsive fool, relying on the wants of the plot. He can also be given time to cry in his automobile as a result of he misses his daughters, however then they’re by no means talked about once more.
The finale of the movie, which includes the heist and a subsequent shoot-out, is exhausting. Much of the half-baked second and third acts are a smoke display for the massive twist, however the viewers will seemingly be too tired of the surface-level story earlier than it lastly arrives. The “reveal” is fairly implausible and tonally at odds with the remainder of the film, as if somebody tried to shoehorn the legendary, fantastical Keyser Soze into Heat.
Den of Thieves has just a few intelligent concepts, however they’re fully misplaced in its try and parrot the superior movies which have come earlier than it. No matter the rationale why audiences stroll within the door, they are going to be disenchanted because the film tries to be too many issues and finally ends up doing a mediocre job in any respect of them.