Den of Thieves
Den of Thieves
2018. Directed by Christian Gudegast.
By Brian Wallinger.
In his directorial debut, screenwriter turned filmmaker Christian Gudegast takes the material that he knows best and turns it into an unforgiving, cringe-worthy film that is one of the worst films of 2018 thus far. This is a film that is so bleak and bland it’s a miracle that it was even released.
The film opens with a generic rip off of Michael Mann’s crime saga Heat: a robbery of a government vehicle filled with money. The scene is very clumsy and sets the pace for the rest of the film. In the next scene Gerard Butler shows up, supposedly as a detective though he is dressed more like a bookie for John Gotti than a police officer. His performance is both emotionless and monotone. After a string of dead ends, Butler forces O’Shea Jackson Jr. to rat out on those responsible and another paint by numbers good guy vs. bad guy scenario plays out. Also in the mix is a very misguided and completely unnecessary subplot involving Butler and his wife played by actress Dawn Olivieri.
Overall this is a film that had the potential to at least be a passable crime thriller, that ultimately fails on every level. The direction is incompetent and incoherent. Den of Thieves has all of the tools but lacks the knowledge on how to properly use them. The cinematography is amateurish at best and the editing is all over the place, making scenes tedious and off putting. The only real minor positive to take from this film is the performance of O’Shea Jackson Jr. who delivers a solid turn considering the lack of material.
Den Of Thieves is an uneven, recycled effort that tries too hard to emulate an already overstuffed genre.