Monday, February 5, 2018

Den of Thieves - A Combination of Heist and Suspenseful Action Movie

As the second film of our movie marathon, my wife and I saw this action movie which was not playing in all cinema chains in Indonesia. The movie only premiered in the US just 2 weeks before, so it was relatively new. The movie started at 7.40 PM and after our first movie Downsizing, we still had sufficient time to have quick dinner at CGV's own restaurant in its Gold and Velvet class premium lounge. Anyway let us get on with the movie now.

Brief Story Line

A gang of thieves led by Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber - 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, A Gifted Man TV series etc), were responsible for the attack on an armored car in Los Angeles. Merrimen was supported by few of his buddies including Levi (Rapper 50 Cent), Bosco (Evan Jones) and a bartender named Donnie (O'Shea Jackson Jr. - Straight Outta Compton). 

Due to the nature of the heavy attacks, the LASD (Sheriff Deputies) were brought into the investigation. The team was led by detective "Big" Nick (Gerard Butler - Geostorm, The Bounty Hunter etc) who was very experienced in solving such cases. After going through few information on the case, Nick decided to focus the investigation on Donnie whom he believed had a role in the recent attack. Nick and his team were trying their best to find out what Merrimen's team actual plan. Meanwhile Merrimen's team were planning a very dangerous heist that would make them filthy rich.

So could Nick capture Merrimen? Or would Merrimen be able to pull off the almost impossible heist in history? Find them all in this quite interesting action, heist movie.

End of Brief Story Line

When I read the synopsis of the movie and saw a brief trailer scene, it gave the impression of a full action movie. I was already readying myself for a nice 2 hours movie that would be filled with great action sequences. To tell you the truth, the opening scene certainly made myself excited. However, what came after that opening sequence were some introductory scenes which used flashback mode and some scenes which seemed to be trying too hard making the characters more humane. The fact is, to my personal opinion those scenes made the movie losing a bit of momentum (I am talking about scenes involving Nick and his wife, plus the scene involving Levi's daughter).

I felt that this movie was actually pretty entertaining, but it would have been a lot more had it been focusing on the heist story and the fight between Nick's team and Merrimen's gang. I really enjoyed the opening fight scene, the heist and of course the finale fight scene. It also gave a nice twist before the end which surprisingly I did not catch at all (perhaps I was getting a bit tired as it was rather late). Having duration of 140 minutes made the movie only finished after 10PM which was the time when my wife and I usually already enjoying our comfortable bed at our room. Luckily we were watching it in the Gold class cinema which gave us truly comfortable seats. Our only major disappointment was the 2 people in front of us were so talkative during the movie, not to mention kept on moving their heads and hands which disturbed our watching pleasure.

Apart from the very comfortable seats, CGV Gold class cinema was having good sound system. I really enjoyed the sound effects happening during the fight scenes. The sounds of automatic machine guns blazing were absolutely thrilling and you could feel like you were in the "war zone". Again I had to emphasize that the climax fight scene was pretty amazing and worthwhile to wait. This movie did not have a lot of funny or amusing moments, just brief humor in the middle. The film was directed by Christian Gudegast in his directorial debut, though he had worked with Gerard Butler previously as a screenwriter to the movie London Has Fallen. By the way, this movie is not suitable for children as it had lots of crude language and some adult scenes.

In this kind of movie, I did not have lots of expectation. It was meant for entertainment purpose, though credit should be given to Gudegast for trying to add some more drama, but as I mentioned earlier it actually distract an otherwise should have been a better action movie. For those who are looking for a good old fashioned action movie without CGI effects, and a better than expected heist plot, this should be interesting to see. But do not expect a very intelligent Academy Awards kind of movie. This is a movie option not for heavy thinkers. 

Mike's movie moments rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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