(US - 2018)
Written and directed by Christian Gudegast. Cast: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Meadow Williams, Brian Van Holt, Evan Jones, Eric Braeden, Dawn Olivieri, Jordan Bridges, Mo McRae, Maurice Compte, Cooper Andrews, Kaiwi Lyman, Sonya Balmores, Oleg Taktarov. (R, 140 mins)
If you're a fan of the films of Michael Mann, you probably still don't love them nearly as much as DEN OF THIEVES writer/director Christian Gudegast does. Gudegast co-wrote LONDON HAS FALLEN, which is probably where he managed to secure the services of star and producer Gerard Butler for his directing debut, an epic L.A. heist saga so indebted to a certain Mann masterpiece that brought together Al Pacino and Robert De Niro that an old friend of mine has been enthusiastically referring to DEN OF THIEVES as "DIPSHIT HEAT" (© David James Keaton) from the moment he first saw the trailer. DIPSH...er, I mean, DEN OF THIEVES is shamelessly derivative not just of HEAT, but with its Cliff Martinez score doing its damnedest to be as Tangerine Dreamy as possible, it's also got a lot of THIEF as well, not to mention William Friedkin's TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. and a third-act curveball that takes things head-on into Keyser Soze territory. In short, DEN OF THIEVES is a greatest hits version of Gudegast's Blu-ray collection, and while it doesn't have an original thought in its head, it's a fast 140 minutes, and Butler as Russell Crowe as Mel Gibson is a blast as the ethically-challenged "Big Nick" O'Brien, the badass head of an elite Major Crimes unit of the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept who--*SPOILER*--plays by his own rules.
this), so Merriman changes the game, plotting a decoy heist to throw O'Brien and his guys off their trail. Of course, things don't quite go as planned.