Please stop putting 50 Cent in movies. He’s a terrible actor in addition to being a terrible person.
Den of Thieves follows an elite, yet corrupt, division of the LA County Sheriff’s Department as they pursue an equally elite group of bank robbers.
The movie really had some potential. Signs of greatness were in here, but they never really come to fruition. However, there is a lot to enjoy. All of the acting (besides the aforementioned worthless 50 Cent) is really solid. Gerard Butler is the star and turns in one of his better performances, but the stand out is O’Shea Jackson Jr. I never saw Straight Outta Compton, but I heard he was really good in that and he is great in this. I expect big things out of him in the future. The story is good and the main heist in the movie is very elaborate, but also interesting. There are great twists that I didn’t see coming as well. There are a couple well executed shootouts, the last of which is very reminiscent of the famous scene from Heat.
The shootout is great, but the movie tries too hard to be Heat, rather than being its own thing. This is the director’s debut movie, and it shows. I think a more experienced director really could have brought out the potential. The movie has a hard time deciding if it wants to be a slow burn thriller or a straight up action movie. It would work a little better if it chose one of those routes and stuck with it. It also tries to throw in a subplot regarding Gerard Butler’s character’s family to try and humanize his character more, but it is massively underdeveloped. The last thing I’ll say is that because the cops are shown to be corrupt, it needed to give us a reason to root for the bad guys. It needed an element where they were doing these heists for good reasons. In the end, we end up not really having anyone to root for because both sides are bad. I think it missed out on an opportunity there.
I can’t hate on the movie too much. I did enjoy it. It is a little long and needed to be 15 minutes shorter, but I was entertained most of the time. There were some really good moments. It isn’t as forgettable as a very similar movie ,Triple 9, from a couple years ago was, but it has a bit of wasted potential. Den of Thieves gets a 3.5/5.