Den of Thieves (2018)

Director: Christian Gudegast

Writer: Christian Gudegast (Screenplay) Christian Gudegast, Paul Scheuring (Story)

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

 

Plot: A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Heist Movie

 

Story: Den of Thieves starts as we see how Merrimen (Schreiber) operates with his team, second in command Enson (50 Cent) and new comer driver Donnie Wilson (Jackson Jr) as they pull off their latest job, investigating this is major crimes officer Big Nick O’Brien (Butler) and his team, they don’t take prisoners, they take bodies.

After the opening heist the two sides know their enemy and Nick brings Donnie in to bring in to learn the plan, while Merrimen is planning the biggest heist ever heard off, the Federal Reserve Bank, will they manage to pull this off.

 

Thoughts on Den of Thieves

 

Characters – Big Nick is the leader of a major crime unit that is suffering with his own addiction, he goes outside the law to get answers and never plays by the rules, he is a good leader and seems to be the only cop in town that can think outside the box. Ray Merrimen is the leader of the heist team, former marine and prisoner that plans his heist down to perfection with his team, he will not go down without swinging. Donnie is the newest member of the team, hired for his driving skills, that he gets forced to work both sides by Big Nick or face jail for a third time.

PerformancesGerard Butler is on fine form here, this could easily be his best performance in years, yes this isn’t anything he can’t handle, but still he knows how to handle it. Pablo Schreiber is an actor I hadn’t heard off before, he does a good job opposite Butler, but his performance does feel like he needs to be a strong member of a team over the leader. O’Shea Jackson Jr is good in his role showing that he is going to be a name for years to come.

StoryThe story follows both sides of the law, the team preparing the heist and the police trying to figure out what the next target is. This work because we get to see both mindsets, but as both sides of the law are being painted as bad guy it makes it hard to support either side of them and this is affected with the opening sequence too. The twists that come in the story are going to be something that are not going to be too difficult to point out. This does however become an entertaining viewing experience.

Action/Crime/MysteryThe action sequences are very good, even if they are mostly big gun battles in the busy streets. The crime side of the film is how the heist unfolds which does help with the mystery side of the film as we see how it all unfolds.

SettingsLA is the setting, which is meant to have the highest bank robbery rating in the country, this works for the busy streets and divide between the sides of the city.

Special EffectsThe effects are very good when it comes to showing off the bullet effects which are brutal as you could imagine.


Scene of the Movie –
The final heist, it might be long, but it is edge of you seat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening sequence ruins us caring about the thieves.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good gritty heist movie, it rolls past with an over two hour run time and keeps us guessing until the final scene.

 

Overall: Great action crime movie.

Rating

 

 

Sabotage (2014)

logoDirector: David Ayer

Writer: Skip Woods, David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Terrance Howard, Max Martini, Kevin Vance, Mark Schlegel, Mireille Enos, Maurice Compte, Martin Donovan

 

Plot: Members of an elite DEA task force find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house.

 

Verdict: Disappointing Action Thriller

 

Story: We see how an elite DEA team find themselves disgraced by the government after $10 million dollars goes missing during a bust. The team gets put back together but the members start getting picked off. With the money still missing we have a FBI agent trying to figure out who is the person targeting them. We see the team not supporting her help and Breacher trying to keep them in line. We see how the team tries to uncover the truth and battles to stay alive, the truth could end up being closer than anyone imagined. This tries to be too smart in the end throwing in twist after twist that makes the last one come over as pointless. It really changes film type with the last twenty minutes and it’s the only twist you didn’t really see coming. It is not the best and the over the top macho performances from the supporting team don’t help in the end the film disappoints. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Breacher leader of the unit and the one who gets focused on the most. He keeps the team in order when they just want to cause chaos. He works with Caroline to uncover the truth but he is also keeping a few secrets about himself. This is not his best performance by any stretch but it is darker than normal, no funny one liner to ease the action. (6/10)

 arnie

Sam Worthington: Monster seemingly the loose cannon of the unit who will go over the line when dealing with the bad guys. Sam became unrecognizable for this role but I am not sure why, he didn’t need too. (5/10)

sam

Joe Manganiello: Grinder the hyper macho member of the unit who uses his imposing presences to try and make himself the most important person in the room. I think he is meant to be the actually big softy of the group but due to lack of development in the supporting characters we don’t see this. Does ok with what he is meant to be doing. (6/10)

 joe

Terrance Howard: Sugar member of the unit but I am not sure what he was meant to be doing most of the time. Not his fault they wasted his talent. (3/10)

 

howard

Mireille Enos: Lizzy undercover member of the unit who now has a drug problem make her a very loose cannon. Yet again it was a talented actress in a role that needed more development. (4/10)

 enos

Olivia Williams: Caroline teaming up with Breacher to uncover what is going on, trusts him but not a single member of the unit. Somehow she becomes a better cop in combat than the rest of the unit. Does a good job with what she has to work with. (6/10)

 

Director Review: David Ayer – I read that the production company wanted more action so I will not criticise the director as much because his bigger picture might have been better. (6/10)

 

Action: Plenty of graphic action violence throughout. (9/10)

Thriller: You do want to know who is behind it all but they never give you enough reason to suspect anyone. (7/10)

Settings: The settings are barely used to create anything extra. (2/10)
Special Effects
: To make the gun shots look so real I will give this the credit it is due. (8/10)

Suggestion: I think only action fans will like this at all but I don’t think all of them will enjoy as much as they could have. (Action Fans Try)

 

Best Part: I only liked the final twist.

Worst Part: The early attempts at twists.

Action Scene Of The Film: Street chase.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $18 Million

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Leave no loose ends.

 

Overall: Lack of character development ruins what could have been a good thriller.

Rating55