Apr 192018
 

Imperfect to say the least, Den of Thieves does have quite a few things going for it from an intense performance from Gerard Butler and suspense-filled crime sequences, that does somewhat overcome the lengthy running time and lack of some character development of the supporting cast.

 

 

Den of Thieves
(2018)

Genre(s): Action, Crime, Drama
Universal Studios | R/Unrated – 140 min. / 149 min. – $34.98 | April 24, 2018

Date Published: 04/19/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Christian Gudegast
Writer(s): Christian Gudegast & Paul Scheuring (story), Christian Gudegast (screenplay)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Meadow Williams, Maurice Compte, Brian Van Holt, Evan Jones, Mo McRae, Kaiwi Lyman
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailers
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 43.3 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 3.5/5


Den of Thieves is a story following both sides of the law and in some respects, the side with a badge could be considered to be worse than the criminals or at the very least morally ambiguous at best. On one side, is ‘Big Nick’ O’Brien (GERARD BUTLER), the head of a crack unit within LAPD’s Major Crimes division investigating several bank robberies at the hands of a crew led by master criminal, and former Marine, Ray Merriman (PABLO SCHREIBER). His group includes right-hand man Enson Levoux (CURTIS ’50 CENT’ JACKSON) as well as a man named Donnie Wilson (O’SHEA JACKSON JR.), a bartender who is new to the crew.

The film attempts to straddle the heist aspect as Merriman and his guys plan to rob the Federal Reserve and O’Brien and his men with some more personal and domestic sides, with O’Brien’s family life falling apart due to his cheating ways and Levoux at his home with two daughters and scaring the living daylights one of their prom dates; it’s a funny little scene but given Jackson is merely playing a sidekick to the main baddie, amounts to no payoff. In fact, Schreiber as Merriman doesn’t really get his due outside of being an ex-Marine, in-and-out of prison and has a stripper girlfriend (MEADOW WILLIAMS).

The issue at hand is, the movie already a rather lengthy film and in the end, I really didn’t much of a sense for any character other than maybe O’Brien but even there, his domestic storyline pretty much gets dropped after a blowup and Levoux could’ve been completely removed, but I suspect he got a back story with 50 Cent receiving high billing credit. While watching, I couldn’t help but think of another crime-drama: Heat, a movie which also showed both sides of the law and a good sense of not only the two leads but get something out of the side characters, which can’t be said here as everyone other than Butler and Jackson are merely cardboard cutouts, including O’Shea Jackson Jr., a great rising star who did have an important role to play but I literally know nothing about the character other than he’s acutely aware of his surroundings and is a smart cat.

Now, outside of some shoddy character development, I can’t at all say Den of Thieves was a bad movie. Far from it. The heist/crime parts were actually well executed, even when does get predictable, primarily in the opening when it’s discovered the crew stole an empty armored truck. Beyond that, any time the movie gets into the crime parts, it is quite suspense-filled and the shootout finale was near phenomenal, albeit can’t really touch the likes of Heat or The French Connection, of course, even taking the character portions aside.

Den of Thieves was co-scripted and directed by Christian Gudegast marks his directorial debut after being the screenwriter behind A Man Apart and London Has Fallen, the latter also starring Gerard Butler, who does give a tremendous and, frankly, frightening performance. The others? Well, Pablo Schreiber had a certain intensity, just wish there was more to him.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5


This release comes with a title-embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Unrated Version (2:28:49; HD) runs about 8-minutes longer and having never seen the theatrical one, can’t say what was added, though some of it might’ve been character moments or some extreme violence.

Audio Commentary – Director Christian Gudegast and Producer Tucker Tooley expand on the making of the film from shooting locations, technical details and working with the cast. It’s all rather basic but some nuggets of information at least.

Alternate Ending (4:51; HD) is different from the original, finding a certain character in jail instead of free. Honestly, not sure which version I prefer.

There are a few short promotional featurettes covering the cast, plot and finale shootout with some interview and behind-the-scenes footage: Alpha Males (2:06; HD), Into the Den (2:06; HD) and Alameda Corridor (3:13; HD).

Outtakes (23:22; HD) which are in actuality deleted/extended scenes, some of which very well may be in the unrated version as in some cases, I didn’t notice many (if any) differences.

Lastly are two Theatrical Trailers.

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Universal releases Den of Thieves onto Blu-ray, presented with a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) and in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio. Detail looks sharp throughout as well as brilliantly bright colors and a good array like the strip club scene where there is a variety of purple hues that pops off the screen. I didn’t really notice any instances of artifacts or aliasing.

AUDIO – 4.5/5


Where the disc really shines is with the soundtrack. Dialogue did come through relatively well, but when the bullets come flying, it does showcase some excellent depth, chiefly the finale sequence where the gunfire reigns upon cars and windows in spectacular, and deadly, fashion.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, imperfect to say the least, Den of Thieves does have quite a few things going for it from an intense performance from Gerard Butler and suspense-filled crime sequences, that does somewhat overcome the lengthy running time and lack of development, or even too much development on an irrelevant character. Still, it is worthy of a rental, just don’t go in expecting a top-notch crime-drama.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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