I was looking forward to ‘Den Of Thieves’ because… well, who doesn’t like a good heist movie? But unfortunately it’s hard to describe ‘Den Of Thieves’ as good. Entertaining? Sure. But that’s about as far as I’m willing to go.
The movie centers around a cat and mouse game between criminal mastermind Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber), who takes on armored cars with near-military precision, and major crimes cop Big Nick (Gerard Butler looking like a racist slur slinging era Mel Gibson), who runs a group of corrupt cops that don’t refrain from kidnapping and torturing suspects in order to get their guy. Then Merrimen starts planning his biggest heist yet, a branch of the Federal Reserve where old dollar bills get destroyed. Will he be able to pull it off will Big Nick get him first?
It all sounds straight-forward enough. But unfortunately Christian Gudegast (who also wrote ‘A Man Apart’ and ‘London Has Fallen’) and co-writer Paul Scheuring kept adding stuff up until the point where it all feels convoluted. And while ‘Den Of Thieves’ is not a complete ‘Heat’ ripoff, it’s pretty obvious that Gudegast (who also directed the movie) has looked at Michael Mann’s masterpiece more than once for inspiration. The whole cop vs robber thing, the film’s duration (2 hours and 20 minutes!!) and the final shootout... it’s all a bit too familiar.
It’s a shame that Gudegast wasn’t content with making a perfectly fine B-movie, because that’s exactly what ‘Den Of Thieves’ should have been.