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Den Of Thieves  : The Plot Thickens & Sickens
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Friday, February 2, 2018
Christian Gudegast
Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, Evan Jones, O'Shea Jackson, 50 Cent

Los Angeles, we’re told, is the bank robbery capital of the world. There’s one robbery happening every 48 minutes.


We aren’t surprised if it’s guys like Sheriff Nick Flanagan in charge of busting crime. This heist thriller is completely lopsided with Nick Flanagan, an overweight and crude officer who doesn’t win your sympathy on any count.


On the other hand is the more handsome and controlled Merrimen, the leader of the gang that’s planning the biggest robbery of all. Pretty skewered casting and characterisation out here. 


Before the big heist, Merrimen and his gang have gone and killed a couple of cops. Not done. But they go ahead with their ambitious job of hitting the Federal Reserve Bank, a veritably impenetrable fortress.


Director Christian Gudegast has two stories going on. One of the Sheriff on the trail of the cop killers. The other of the cop killers going full speed with their impossible heist.


Despite Flanagan’s bluster and swagger, the robbers stay ahead of him which doesn’t speak well of his smarts. All we see of the Sheriff is him driving desperately to foil the robbery. 


The heist itself is like a fairy tale. There’s a Chinese takeaway scene with a guy called Donnie that’s pretty implausible in a high security outfit. Given Donnie’s size, having him squeeze through vents and ducts is more comical than high-tension.


Gudegast further messes up with an overlong film where shootouts go on interminably, most often missing the mark. There’s a track of Flanagan and his family woes that drags it further. And the heist itselfis referenced from every successful thriller of this genre. Gudegast’s direction is juvenile where Merrimen says of his colleagues, ‘They’ve got burnt’ when he literally burns some stuff and has it go up in flames.


There’s an open end with Flanagan on to the one who outwits the gang. Oh no, don’t tell me they’re planning a sequel.


Gerard Butler is too sloppy to make an impressive Sheriff while Pablo Schrieber is the more watchable of the two.


For an outdated heist film, Den Of Thieves gets a 2* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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