Movie: Den Of Thieves
Starring: Gerard Butler, O’Shea Jackson Jr
Directed by: Christian Gudegast
Rating: * ½(one a half stars)
If you love Oceans 11, then try drowning in the din and slush of Den Of Thieves. It’s a film so impressed by its own awe of the heist genre , it keels back in admiration to look at the genre with a mix of awe and orgasmic joy.If only we could feel the director’s throbbing excitement.All we feel is a dreary disconnect .
The film is well edited, though. The scenes move in a fastidious montage conceived and executed with superfluous dexterity, designed to suck us into the morass morality of badass cops and robbers, so morally interchangeable the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ sides are mirror-images.
It’s sad to see Gerard Butler, once a formidable name to reckon with, here reduced to a shadow of his earlier charismatic self…an over-sized commodious unwieldy shadow. He plays a burnt-out disagreeable cop who swigs alcohol and antacid and laughs at colleagues who are bathed and groomed. Much like the ocean 11 bunch that must be laughing all the way to the bank before robbing it.
Butler with his boorish bravado really belongs to a Ram Gopal Varma film. To subject him and us, to this tortuous heist-farce is not only unjust, but downright cruel. A lot of footage goes into the characters convincing us they are worse scumbags than they seem to be. The performances range from aggressive playacting to submersive cool-acting. Butler falls into neither category. He is situated in a sorry sordid state of self-annihilation as his cop-character is kicked and beaten by his wife in the midst of trying to stop a high-profile bank robbery in downtown LA.
Have we seen a more exciting car-chase sequences heist-robbery film than this? Oh yes, most probably. Have we seen a more unoriginal heist film? Gawd , no! Den Of Thieves is a mayhem-motivated mess best left to the misogynists who enjoy watching overgrown boys playing cops and robbers.
That skidding sound you hear is not just the wheels . It’s also a plot horribly off-track.