Den of Thieves’s idea doesn’t have anything new to the screen; it is all about a gang doing heists around Los Angeles where they are attempted to stop by the cops. Though, what makes it a nice action-crime movie and gives it its originality are the characters. In the movie, there are no usual cops. There are Big Nick and his team who themselves seem like thugs, whereas the heist gang led by Ray Merrimen used to be militarians.
So, when the movie gets build, there comes a heavy intensity on-screen and the audience feels excited to see such badass clash between the good and the bad. During the watch time, you feel a big conflict where it is tough to decide who is going to have it as one side used to be militarians and the other is a kind of gang with uniform.
The movie keeps going; I didn’t witness a moment where it felt like hanged. The story goes simple with a few twists and turns and added drama. But, majority of the time you see events taking place that themselves evoke interest in the audience such as O’Shea implementing his gang’s plane in the Los Angeles federal bank and scenes where Gerard Butler keeps buzzing around the gang members.
What I am happy about is that the director Christian Gudegast has taken care of empathy for at least the hero, Gerard Butler where one of his acts makes his wife giving divorce to him. Here, the soft-hearted side of the ruthless cop is shown where he always dies to meet his wife and the little daughter.
Now if we talk about the villain side of the movie, the gang of Pablo Schreiber, there is no empathy for them. They are bad to be bad; they don’t have a convincing reason to rob banks. Hence, they feel weak emotionally even though how much powerful they are physically.
The screenplay of Den of Thieves is its USP, you take interest, enjoy the events, characters and the realistic action scenes. The two characters, Big Nick and Donnie make the movie most interesting where Donnie keeps working for the gang and also remains in touch with Big Nick. Donnie gives you a smell of a turn in the movie and that exactly happens in the climax.
You are not going to witness larger than life actions scenes where cars and trucks bounce like they are on a trampoline. But, the action is shown at its best and as heavily as it can be in real life encounters between the cops and gangsters. Both the parties don’t just face each other with pistols or revolvers; they come to play with automatic machine guns and grenade. I loved this intensity of action while keeping it in realistic boundaries.
Also, the cinematography has impressed me a lot. The entire movie is set in the iconic city of Los Angeles where the atmosphere is kept dark, desolated, boring and shiny. It not only suits to the crime genre but also adds thrill.
RATING – 6.5/10
Concept – 4/10
Story – 6.5/10
Screenplay & Direction – 8/10
Connectivity – 7.5/10
Acting – Good
Cinematography – Awesome
A gang of robbers led by Ray Merrimen tracks a security truck in Los Angeles city and when the truck stops at a Donut shop, they hijack it. However, the police reach to the place before they leave and a deadly combat begins where a few cops get killed due to the heavy firing by the gang. Upon reaching to their den, they realize the hazardous outcomes of their ruthless act.
Next morning, Bick Nick with his team investigates at the crime scene where he has a chat with a FBI officer who shows disappointment for his behavior. Meanwhile, the gang gets the information and facts about the investigation led by Nick.
Nick and his team gather evidences and get a lead in a picture where a man named Donnie Wilson is sharing the frame with Merrimen. Nick gets to the bar where Donnie works, after having a chat with him, he knocks him down and takes him to his place. Upon being interrogated, he lies first but tells the truth after being head locked by Nick. He tells that he is just a driver for the gang and was recruited by Merrimen after impressing him with his skills, and the gang members don’t share many details with him. Nick orders him to keep working in the gang.
Meanwhile, Nick’s wife Debbie gets to know about his affair with other woman when he mistakenly texts Debbie instead of her. She, along with the children decides to leave where Nick convinces to stop her, but she doesn’t.
On the other hand, Merrimen comes up with his big plan where he is going to rob the city’s Federal Reserve Bank that nobody has ever succeed to rob. He shares details with the members with a solid blueprint. Donnie gets to his job; he joins a Chinese restaurant near the bank and gets into the bank to deliver an order. There, he hides a packet in the ventilation line.
Moreover, Nick who has been spying on the gang has a chat with Donnie while he is having dinner with the gang members. He introduces himself as a gym mate of Donnie; he also tells Merrimen that he knows him; he has seen him playing soccer in his past days. Having made the gang irritated, Nick leaves.
Merrimen, who knows about Nick, suspects Donnie of being a cop. He forces him to tell the truth where Donnie tells that he only chats with Nick to be safe and hasn’t disclosed anything about the gang.
In a morning, Merrimen witnesses Nick being with his girl, but ignores the incident.
Having done the preparations, the gang leaves to rob the Federal Bank where they are going to be in as a maintenance service that carries destroyed bills that are unfit; there plan is all about having the unfit currency before it gets destroyed.
However, the gang first gets into a small bank where they make the people hostage and demand money and a helicopter. Nick and the police department become confident to grab the gang. However, Nick gets an idea about their plan of being out from the sewage line after an explosion in the bank.
While Nick searches for the gang, Merrimen and the boys get into the Federal Bank with fake identities. They get to the area where unfit currency gets destroyed; they disturb the electricity and security cameras. Donnie, who was hidden in a box transfers the unfit currency in packets and gets out from the ventilation line as the delivery boy. Whereas, Merrimen exists from the bank having those packets.
Just before reaching to one of the gang members, Nick arrests Donnie and knows about the current location of the gang. (Spoiler) A deadly encounter begins where all the gang members get killed. Upon reaching to the car, Nick finds that Donnie has escaped and there is no money in the packets either. He gets to the bar where Donnie used to work; there he notices a picture where the gang members and Donnie are together as a soccer team. He realizes Donnie has played a game and fooled both the parties (/Spoiler).