Den of Thieves is an action thriller movie starring Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., and Curtis James “50 Cent” Jackson III. Written by Christian Gudegast, who also makes this his directorial debut, the 140-minute film is a spectacular display of what could be touted as Butler’s most impressive performance to date.
Butler plays Nick O’Brien, a Los Angeles cop — ok fine, Sheriff — and the movie opens with him investigating an armed robbery outside a donut shop which an armored truck (yes, those vehicles that carry buttloads of money). He discovers that the truck, in addition to being stolen, was also empty. When O’Brien and his team realize that they are facing against a highly organized crime gang, he goes on full gear, but at the cost of his family falling apart.
Meanwhile, the Gang, led by Ray Merrimen (Schreiber) and fellow ex-Marine, Enson Levoux (50 Cent), plots to rob the impenetrable Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve. With the promise of stealing 120 million dollars without anyone knowing nor looking for it, the team gears up, with young Donnie (Jackson Jr.) as their getaway driver.
While its promising premise was what got me interested in watching the movie (I mean, $120mil?? Could I really steal that much money without anyone knowing?!), the slow and dragging buildup to the actual heist was exactly that: slow and dragging. In all honesty, they probably could’ve done without some of the scenes, but, I’ll have to admit it, the actual heist and action-packed chase scene that follows right after do make up for it.
With a series of plot twists sprinkled here and there, this movie will have you clenching your armrest the entire time. Watch out for the ending, however; though it may seem like a cliché at first glance, but trust me, it’s going to make you assess the plot development from a completely different perspective.