Movie Reviews

Den of Thieves

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By: Jada Wetzel

 

 

In this prototypical cop thriller, the cast of Den of Thieves leads us to the edge of our seats while we watch the cop caper lead by Gerard Butler come to a twisted end. Butler plays ‘Big Nick’ O’Brien, the quintessential cop facing off against Ray Merriman played by Pablo Schreiber. The cast also includes 50 Cent playing Enson Levoux, O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Donnie Wilson and Evan Jones as Bo ‘Bosco’ Ostroman with a surprising cameo by Eric Braeden as Ziggy Zerhusen. None of the aforementioned will be receiving their SAG awards or Oscar nod, but they did their part of keeping me on the edge of my seat till the delightful end.

Christian Gudegast, the director and screenwriter followed, the Ocean’s 11 series plot a little too much in my opinion. But it does sell tickets and pays off because it is a proven cinematic tool that has been used time and time again. He paints the good vs. the bad like most others in this genre do, leaving the audience captivated and questioning who they want to prevail through and through and till the end. Butler is the typical “bad” cop with home troubles and, of course, the constant struggle with his superior Lobbin’ Bob played by Jordan Bridges. Schreiber is the typical good guy gone bad in this this box office hit. I was pleased to see Evan Jones as Bosco for I feel he is a great character actor who deserves his day with stardom.

The movie begins in California where ex-marine Merriman and his team along with Bosco pull off a heist of an armored car. Thus begins the tale of Big Nick vs. Merriman’s crew. Butler and Schreiber play cat and mouse while the gang plans out their next big take on the Federal Reserve. They even have rendezvous where they do a type of dance, which makes for intense scenes leaving you guessing how it will all play out. The ultimate tango ends after the caper seems to have been a success. Jackson’s role as “Judas” to Merriman only gets more entangled as the cinematic thriller winds to its commencement.

The film did have a good rhythm to the sequencing and advancement of the plot which left me on my toes as I ventured deeper into the world of the thieves. The stand out role of Merriman in his mysterious character really leads the way and sets itself apart from the rest of the crew. This is followed only by Jackson’s portrayal of Brutus who finds himself deeply embedded into turmoil. Jackson really hides his potentially treacherous and mind twisting decisions well throughout the film, but all the roles have been played by many before them in near the same fashion.

All in all, I feel like this is one that you can wait for the DVD to come out, as opposed to spending the money for the tickets. If the same plot snatch and steal plot is what your are seeking, by all means check it out; however, for me it was too much of the same in this one. The cast did their job and it has the shoot outs and highspeed chases, but not a lot of pyrotechnics and awe inspiring graphics one would want to see on the big screen. It lacked in ways I feel the audience can pass on the popcorn from the concession stand and go to their microwave instead.

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