Den of Thieves 2018 Movie Three robbers with masks and heavily armed approaching bank

Den of Thieves [2018]

Entertaining and full of testosterone, Den of Thieves is a heist movie that will keep your attention. Despite the runtime of just under two and half hours, it’s very engaging and stylish. Just think of it as Heat on steroids with a funny, over-the-top vibe to it. The production values are top-notch with that sleek cinematography that comes with this type of movie. However, the thing that blew me away was pitch-perfect pacing. I am still trying to figure out how I wasn’t bored or looked at my phone for such a long time. It starts with an intense shoot-out and then slowly builds up the tempo. All the while we’re following flexing from both the cops and robbers sides. This is what Triple 9 was trying to achieve. And what 21 Bridges did achieve.

Den of Thieves reminded me of French crime movies, specifically Olivier Marchal’s movies Les Lyonnais and Rogue City. All of them managed to get away with this style-over-substance approach. Although, here there’s quite a fair amount of substance. The story is good and sturdy, with the usual twists and turns. The characters are underdeveloped and sometimes even comically masculine but that’s to be expected. Gerard Butler was great in a role he’s most comfortable with. Also, he gained twenty-five pounds for this role as per Christian Gudegast’s suggestion. This gave him even more credibility and that realistically tough-guy look. Opposite of him we have intimidating Pablo Schreiber who clearly pumped some iron since his The Wire (Efige Efige) days. Now that I think of it, I think he was already pumped in 13 Hours, another great action movie you might wanna check out.

The sun is about to rise and light up the still-dark streets of Los Angeles. Ray Merrimen and his crew are using the cover of night to attempt an armored truck robbery. They planed it to the smallest detail, waiting for the two guards to stop for an early breakfast. What ensues is a bloody shootout ending with robbers running away with an empty armored truck. They are hoping anyone else but Nick O’Brian will be in charge of the subsequent investigation. However, they are not that lucky and the case is assigned to Big Nick, a tough-as-nails detective leading a unit ready to do anything to get their men.

If you’re looking for clever twists, ingenious bank heists, or original characters, you will not find them here. Cliched and borrowing a lot from Heat, Den of Thieves lacks depth and authenticity. This means you should lower your expectations and go into this fully knowing how it’s going to play out. The ending is a bit contrived but by that time you’ve already had your fun. So, now you know what type of movie this is. I suggest you just relax and let it take you on one hell of a ride. If you’re looking for similar movies, check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of heist movies. Plus, keep an eye out for the sequel that should be out in a couple of years. Gerard will have to travel to Europe as Den of Thieves 2 follows the infamous and very real Pink Panthers.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out. This action-packed heist movie is based on one of the most intense gun battles in the entire US history so be sure to check it out.

Director: Christian Gudegast

Writers: Christian Gudegast, Paul T. Scheuring

Cast: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr., 50 Cent, Meadow Williams, Maurice Compte, Brian Van Holt, Cooper Andrews

Fun Facts: Amongst the cast, there are four UFC fighters: John Lewis, Max Holloway, Oleg Taktarov and Michael Bisping.


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