All Characters Are Boneheads

Gerard Butler as a cop, leaning against a car

You lied to me, AVClub. You hinted that Den of Thieves might be decent, even though it starred Gerard Butler.

It's not.

It is, at best, a meathead version of Michael Mann's masterpiece Heat.

It seemed like it was going to be a hammy character-slash-actor-focused effort at the start – still a B-movie, but maybe the Re-Animator of cops and robbers movies. It then got into a flexing contest with itself, flew into a 'roid rage fit, floored the plot muscle car, and sped off leaving skid marks before it crashed into a cliche-filled mall of chest-pounding macho-posturing militarized-police aggrandizement. Its tone-deafness and brain-dead huffing-and-puffing might even end up making it a cult item for a particular group in this era, with its hero being a tough-guy cop who chokes information out of a black guy, in the very same sequence as a gay panic scene.

I'm not kidding.

It doesn't even have the decency of being a good bad movie. It's content with graduating from the Wild Things school of clever-characters-and-plot-twists, where the writer wants to surprise viewers but is incapable of placing a single clue that would surprise a stoned five-year-old on an Easter Egg hunt.

What does he do, then?

He keeps everyone in the dark throughout the story, only to explain what went down with flashbacks at the end. Surprise, motherfucker!

There go two hours of my life. On the bright side, I can take it as a warning to stay away from writer/director Christian Gudegast in the future.

#christiangudegast #gerardbutler #pabloschreiber