Movie Review: DEN OF THIEVES (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

DEN OF THIEVES was written and directed by Christian Gudegast. The film blurs the lines between good and  evil by examining the rivalry between a police unit, led by Gerard Butler, and a crew of career criminals featuring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Evan Jones.

Den of Thieves is a gritty Los Angeles crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of  an elite unit of  the LA County Sheriff’s Department and the state’s most successful bank robbery  crew  as  they  plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of Downtown Los Angeles. 

Den of Thieves follows Nick O’Brien (Gerard Butler) and his band of Regulators, an elite unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that is hot on the trail of the Outlaws, a gang of ex-military men that’s led by Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber), who are elusive experts at robbing banks. What happens is, Nick ends up catching Donnie Wilson (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), one of the Outlaws, where he interrogates him in a gritty and unorthodox style that’s not in the playbook.

What happens is, Donnie tells Nick what he knows, which isn’t much, and is sent on his way back to the Outlaws who are planning the ultiimate heist at a bank that is supposed to be heist proof. The Regulators and the Outlaws paths cross several times before they go at it in the violent final shootout to see who can ultimately outsmart the other. What Nick discovers in the end is a new twist has been added into the equation that leaves one Outlaw who is still on the run – the real shotcaller.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray and DVD discs are color coded and feature the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Den of Thieves ended up being an extremely long action-thriller that would have played much smoother if it had a shorter run time. We get a lot of heist movies so it’s hard to come up with something new and original and unfortunately this one treads on familiar territory. Even though it’s not very original that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie because it’s actually a pretty intense watch except for the aggravating run time. I thought the cast did a good job with their characters and it even felt like Gerard Butler was trying to channel a much more violent version of Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon) at times. His character is gritty and doesn’t play by the rules but as the movie plays out you see that he has a vulnerable side to him. Pablo Schreiber plays the likable antagonist who is skilled at what he does and hard to take down. Christian Gudegast captured the intensity and violence that this movie possesses but unfortunately the run time killed it for me because it drags and stalls way too much. Den of Thieves will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital) on April 24th and is okay for a one time watch.

Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Run Time: Theatrical Cut – 2:20:28 / Extended Unrated Cut – 2:28:49

Rated: R and Unrated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

DVD Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.39:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras inlcude an alternate ending, interviews with some of the cast and crew, outtakes/deleted scenes, audio commentary, two theatrical trailers and a digital copy of the movie.

  • Alternate Ending (04:51)
  • Alpha Males – The cast describes how the tough characters in the film blur the lines between the good guys and the bad guys. (02:06)
  • Into the Den – Director Christian Gudegast and the cast describe the two brotherhoods within the film, the renegades and the outlaws, and their unique sets of skills. (02:06)
  • Alameda Corridor – The cast and director discuss filming the intense scene that take place on the streets of L.A. and the extensive weapons training it took to film it. (03:13)
  • Outtakes and Deleted Scenes (23:22)
  • Commentary with Director Christian Gudegast and Producer Tucker Tooley
  • Theatrical Trailer #1 (02:32)
  • Theatrical Trailer #2 (02:22)
  • Digital Copy

 

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