Movie Review : Dipshit Heat (2018)
There are telltale signs on Den of Thieves' poster that it's going to suck: too many guns; unearned bullshit macho posting; way, way too many fucking people and half of them are upside down. A movie that's trying to sell you its badassery so hard is usually trying to cover its shitty screenplay. I wouldn't have given Den of Thieves the time of day if cult auhtor and friend of the site David James Keaton hadn't been so adamant on calling it Dipshit Heat for the last six months, drawing parallels with the contemporary classic it ripped half its ideas from.
Since I had seen none of them and that Dipshit Heat is becoming somewhat of an thing on internet, I figured it would be interesting to watch them back to back. This one lives up to its new identity and then some.
Dipshit Heat is the story of Big Nick O'Brien (Gerard Butler), a Los Angeles cop who looks like he's battling alcoholism, bipolar disorder and hepatitis all at once. His personal life is falling apart so bad, he's breaking into his own house to avoid talking to his wife. Right when I started liking him, he gets called on an armed robbery gone wrong and the scent of criminality awake his inner asshole cop. Unbeknownst to him, the mastermind of this heinous crime is his "dark reflection" Ray Merrimen (the otherwise talented Pablo Schreiber). So Nick and his tough guy cop crew get on collision course with... *sigh*, the baddest criminals in town.
The obvious lifts from Heat notwithstanding, this movie is terrible. It was clearly written by a psychopath. The nickname Dipshit Heat took on mostly because Den of Thieves is filled with grown-ass men acting outlandishly tough. It would've been awesome if it didn't take itself so seriously, but writer and director Christian Gudegast's is way too enamored with prepubescent vision of masculinity. For example, there is this scene where Nick's cop crew and Ray's criminal crew meet in a hibachi restaurant. Nick tries to intimidate him for a moment, to assert his dominance, and when he realizes it doesn't work, he says:
"The food here sucks."
*turns to the girlfriends of Merrimen's guys, starts humping a chair*
"We come here FOR THE ASS."
Who the fuck that's over 14 years old thought that line was any cool? And I swear to God, guys. That line is told with the utmost sincerity by Gerard Butler. There's zero irony in it. Nick O'Brien goes to Beni Hana to get laid. The characters in Den of Thieves throw garbage line over garbage line like this, hoping someone will be impressed by how tough they are and coming off.... well, like complete dipshits. Here's another scene that would've been impressive to me if I never had sex.
What's more impressive than ten swole ex-convicts working out in a FUCKING SUBURBAN GARAGE, trying to intimidate a 16 years old kid, right? These guys aren't badass, they're just unpleasant people.
This movie wants to be Heat so bad, but it fundamentally doesn't understand what made Heat great. Take Nick O'Brien, for example. He looks like the perfect crooked cop. Grimy, violent, poor impulse control, you can almost smell his cigarette breath through the screen. But he's not crooked. In Christian Gudegast's world, he's a badass investigator that deals street justice. The characters in Heat were sharp, low-key and organized. The cast of Den of Thieves make up for their lack of personality by being unnecessarily violent and antagonistic to everyone around them and violence without substance is never not fucking goofy.
So, I therefore motion for Den of Thieves to officially change its name to Dipshit Heat. Not only it's a blatant ripoff (I'll dedicate an entire piece to this), but it's a tone deat, insecure movie with a cast of characters who behave like disturbed teenagers. This movie is absolutely worth a hate watch, but I'm warning you: it's two and a half hours long. Want to know what the worst part is? Gudegast somehow got Dipshit Heat 2 greenlit, so there's more of that coming. Because, you know, another way of one-upping Heat is to make a fucking sequel, right?