Movie Reviews

Den of Thieves – Too Long, Manly, and Edgy

Get ready for a big manly action film with Gerard Butler. One can’t help but wonder what his accent will be for this one.

Synopsis: A gritty Los Angeles crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected 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 of downtown Los Angeles. (VVS Films)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

Writer: Christian Gudegast

Director: Christian Gudegast

Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 140mins

Trailer: 

For showtimes and more, check out Den of Thieves on movietimes.com.

Let’s just get this out of the way now, this film is way too long at almost 2.5 hours. These types of films have no right being over 2 hours long. The way the film tells its story made it feel even longer than that. The film chronicles the lives of a unit within the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. and a successful bank robbery as they attempt a heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles. The way the film presumably gets to 2.5 hours was that it spent considerable time with characters on both sides of the law.

The problem with that was that it was difficult to care about any of them including L.A. Sheriff Nick Flanagan (Butler), the leader of the bank robber crew Merrimen (Schreiber), and getaway driver Donnie (Jackson Jr.) among others. This made it a chore to watch these characters for long stretches of time, which made the film feel longer, until something happened which wasn’t as often as one would expect. The few action sequences consisted of cuts and loud noises.

What made these characters so unlikable was the film’s failed attempts at being manly and edgy. Flanagan was an over the top corrupt sheriff who flaunted how edgy he was. The film forced a rivalry between him and Merrimen where Flanagan liked to get under his skin and the rest of the crew. What was supposed to be entertaining was just sad to watch. In terms of actions films, it wasn’t overly original and was predictable until the script thought it was smart and ended a silly twist at the end.

The acting was okay all around with Butler playing a similar role that he’s played in other films, questionable accent and likability and all. The rest of the acting was okay all around but this was more the script and/or direction than anything else.

Overall, this was a mediocre action film that suffered from being much longer than it had any right to be and trying too hard to be manly and edgy to the point of being off-putting. Ultimately, those who can connect to the character will have a decent time.

Score: 5/10

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