Den of Thieves

The Phantom Stenographer

The alternate history where this movie exists and Heat doesn't, filled with incompetents patting each other on their backs for the ignorance is, naturally, a movie we would see.
Reported on 12th of April, 2018

Den of Thieves can’t seem to make up its mind whether it’s one of two things: a diverting Heat-lite, or an attempt to be Heat in an alternate history where Heat was never made, and where the audience had never heard of it. Or had ever seen a movie. Or knew what a story was. Or what reality was.

The third, an alternate history movie where this movie exists and Heat doesn’t, filled with incompetents patting each other on the backs for their ignorance is, naturally, a movie we would see.

Den of Thieves

1 March 2018 @ The Gaumont Champs-Elysées

-$9.00 or, if one must be quotidian, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


The film fails at both diversion and greatness, by in turns sucking, going on as long as Heat (‘we got the running time right!’) and never coming to life. I walked out angry, thinking it the worst film of the year. That is until I saw Wrinkle in Time, that is until I saw The Disaster Artist, that is until I saw Eva, etc.

All these films share the seemingly growing resentment of having to tell a story. Like the others, this is a bunch of scenes that seemed like a good idea to someone at some point, strung together. I can’t even say why I hated it so much, I guess feeling tired of watching films like this not be fun. What they did take from Heat is the only thing I would leave out – its ponderousness.

My computer did a computer thing while I was furiously and futilely typing, and so I don’t have any actual details. This is one of the disadvantages of the new system – the screen must be off in order not to disturb the other filmgoers. I conveniently ignore that they are perhaps disturbed in different ways, seeing some idiot tapping on a keyboard of a seemingly broken computer. Ghost stenographer? Pirate sub-titler for Hungary and Hungarian speakers in other countries? The modern version of that guy who repeats every word of dialog out loud, and whose therapist suggested a broken computer?

Take your pick, as long as it’s some kind of your compulsive disorder, you won’t be far off.


I vaguely remember the snitch character; let’s make it about him. The cops get him to turn on the heist crew. How do they do this? Well…they show him hookers.

Yeah. I’m not making that up. I think the filmmaker thought this would make them seem tough.

It was odd.

Anyway, at that point, the cops can just arrest the crew. They don’t. Then the heist crew finds out that he’s snitching. At this point, they could just kill him, or plant false information. They don’t. Instead, they seem to forget about him for a while.

In an attempt to blur the lines between the bad cops and good criminals, the French created their own title, in English, as Criminal Squad. It’s as far as they got in this thematic regard.

The crew stages a fake robbery, instead of, going to do the real robbery. The fake robbery does nothing, as they could have simply done the real robbery, and not called attention to themselves. But it’s a fake-out! Audiences think being faked out is the same as entertained!

Remember the cops? They’re at the bank, yelling at each other for not following/following the rules. They knew where the real heist was all along, having tailed the snitch, which means they know he was lying to them. Actions and consequences, you say? Some kind of relationship with one another, you say?

Anyway, they remember at this point, maybe from the yelling. Not being able to use the phone to call the place and warn them, they drive there and there’s a shootout.

At this point – this is the fourth alternate film – they realize that only Mr. Michael Mann can close down downtown Los Angeles for a gunfight, so they do it on the cheap at some fakey looking side-street, possibly in Hungary, I can’t say, I’m not a translator, and then people are dead. Possibly.

This is my best recollection, pieced together from vague impressions. I filled in some gaps, I invented some things. It doesn’t make sense, and doesn’t connect up, just scenes that I think I saw, mimeographed under memory.

Then I filmed it, took credit for it, and charged you to see it.

The Take

This film, like Jason v. Freddy, also terrible, invigorated me in a way that no film has done. I’m writing, and you have this film to thank that I’m not writing…about this film.
Total Profits
I like Mr. Gerard Butler. But there ain’t a lot of charisma flying around here
I don’t have my notes, but this is a hateful piece of pulseless shit. See it if you want to write a better movie.
Total Losses


The Lonely Comments Section


Annoyed? Prove it!

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.