We’ve all been there. You see a trailer, and it looks great. But, you’re a little concerned about whether those are the best scenes in the movie or if you have plenty more to look forward to. And if we’re honest with ourselves, it happens more with action films than any other films. Sure, horror movies are a close second. But, those who are really into horror films know better than to expect anything too much better than the trailer. Great action is a little harder to read from a trailer. And that tends to leave us wondering.
Den of Thieves is a great movie about- surprise- a cop trying to catch a robber. While it isn’t anything new, there are a few twists and turns. There are also a few clichés that will have you rolling your eyes, but the dialogue tends to make you forget about that pretty quickly. I wouldn’t say it’s smart dialogue. Just that it’s funny and honest. The action scenes are pretty good, too! Even though there are only two, I don’t see anyone complaining. They are gripping, and I thought they were the highlight of the movie. You won’t find Oscar-worthy acting in this movie, and I doubt anyone watching this movie is expecting it. But, if you want something fun to watch that isn’t some sappy love story; this is a great idea.
We’re all used to the Gerard Butler attitude, and you expect 50 Cent to be a bit hardcore. You will recognize a few other faces, as well. But, I think that in some ways; that lends to the believability of those characters; so I understand the casting choices. However, I can also recognize the difference between them using their natural mannerisms for their characters and being able to act. And this isn’t exactly the latter. The acting isn’t so horrible that you can’t watch the movie. But, I don’t think you are going to hear anyone raving about it, either. It just is what it is. I didn’t connect with the characters the way I would have liked to. So, even though I’m a crier, I didn’t feel any emotion in scenes I know I should have. I might have felt a little sad or thought it was a shame, but never shed a tear.
Cinematically, you aren’t going to see anything new. You will see the same palate and frames that you see in every action film. You will even get the same gritty feeling. But, it isn’t so overused it’s annoying. It fits into the film well and is something that is barely noticeable. It gets advantageous when it comes to the action scenes, which is a bonus. The film direction was good, but it is pretty much what you would expect from Christian Gudegast. Having directed his fair share of action films, this is an old hand for him. I feel like it could have been a little better if he was more invested. But, if he was, I just didn’t feel it. It felt like a good movie that was five degrees short of being great.
Overall, I think it was a good movie. As I said, it could have been better. But, it also could have been much worse. Everyone noted the notes of Heat but also agreed that there is no Al Pacino in Gerard Butler. And Robert DeNiro has an undeniable edge on Pablo Schreiber. But, I think that if you are going to make that comparison; you should mention that the “mutual respect” that those characters had in Heat wasn’t in this film. And that was a great part of it for many of us. Take out that table scene and throw in some more action, I would accept the reference. But, even then it would be more like Heat and The Usual Suspects had a baby. And then that baby found a gun also got trigger happy. Then, it stopped and grew up a little, and then it found the gun again, and that was the end of our story with the baby.
If you thought the trailer was good, check it out. But, don’t walk in with high expectations and accept it for what it is. The action scenes are good, there are some funny moments and there are some predictable ones. There are a few twists, too; but nothing that hasn’t been done before. Expect anything more than that and you’ll be disappointed. I would say that it is a six and a half or seven out of ten. I think that it is worth a matinee ticket or rental, but if you are buying a full price ticket don’t have anything better to do that night. Just remember that there is also a chance that your guest will hate it. So, buy any snacks they want at the concession stand. Pocket some M&Ms for yourself, too. You know…just in case. Wink Wink.