DEN OF THIEVES (director/writer: Christian Gudegast; screenwriter: Paul Scheuring; cinematographer: Terry Stacey; editor: Joel Cox; music: Cliff Martinez; cast: Gerard Butler (‘Big Nick’ O’Brien ), Pablo Schreiber(Ray Merrimen), O’Shea Jackson Jr., (Donnie Wilson), Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. 50 Cent (Enson Levoux), Dawn Olivieri (Debbie), Brian Van Holt (Murph Connors), Evan Jones (Bo ‘Bosco’ Ostroman), Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau (Tony Z’ Zapata), Moe McRae (Gus Henderson), Maurice Compte (Benny ‘Borracho’ Magalon), Cooper Andrews (Mack); Runtime: 140; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Gerard Butler, Tucker Tooley, Mark Canton, Alan Siegel; STX Entertainment; 2018)
“A mediocre urban thriller.“ Reviewed by Dennis SchwartzThe directorial debut of screenwriter Christian Gudegast results in only a mediocre urban thriller. Gudegast and co-writer Paul Scheuring can only come up with a contrived plot and trite dialogue for their tiresome L.A. heist movie. The irreverent and jerky ‘Big Nick’ O’Brien (Gerard Butler) works at the Major Crimes unit of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, where he worries about the recently paroled Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber), whose band of former Marines-turned-bank robbers, known as “The Outlaws,” are supposedly planning to rob the Federal Reserve in downtown L.A. for $30 million in unmarked bills. Big Nick has a mole in the gang, the unlucky young bartender/getaway driver Donnie Wilson (O’Shea Jackson Jr., a.k.a. real-life son of Ice Cube). But he blows his cover at a Japanese restaurant. Things get going for real when Big Nick stops the gang from carrying out their intricate planned heist.Dawn Olivieri plays Big Nick’s disgruntled wife, who walks out on him due to infidelity. Enson Levoux (Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. 50 Cent) is a member of the Outlaw gang.A probable soon-to-be regular film on cable. It lacks much entertainment value, characters worth caring about and is weighed down with a pointless story. It rips off many modern crime dramas like The Usual Suspects, but is unable to stand on its own merits.
REVIEWED ON 3/6/2018 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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