December is for character dramas and historical epics. January is for bank heists and Thor, on a horse, versus the Taliban. December is for Hanks and Streep. January is for Butler and Neeson. We can argue about Call Me by Your Name vs. Lady Bird vs. Get Out until the Best Picture award is handed out (hopefully in one take this time), or we can smoke the Dumpuary peace pipe and remember that bad movies are sometimes the best movies. Christmas is over. Merry Christmas.
This is going to be an especially hot winter for good people who like bad movies. We get to find out why in the world Michael Shannon is in 12 Strong. We get to see Vera Farmiga on her home turf of “shit going wrong on trains,” costarring with Liam Neeson in The Commuter. And best of all, Gerard Butler downhill slaloms into our lives on January 19, mean-mugging with a badge, in Den of Thieves.
They remade Heat, with Gerard Butler as Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. There’s nothing better than when someone looks like old Russell Crowe and acts like young Russell Crowe. It’s like the acting version of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope trying to throw himself an alley-oop that goes over the backboard.
True Butler heads are called Mr. Carsons. They went to Chasing Mavericks in the theater; they thought Geostorm misused Gerard’s talents; and they know, without looking at the credits, that Den of Thieves was cowritten and directed by London Has Fallen scribe Christian Gudegast. Yes, the Mamet to Butler’s Mantegna.
Butler plays Nick “Big Nick” (!!!) Flanagan. I don’t know if you’re sitting down, but you might want to: Nick is “a corrupt L.A.P.D. cop.” Take a minute. He’s chasing a crew led by Pablo Schreiber, who plays a guy named [turns on iPhone flashlight to check] Merrimen, as well as 50 Cent (Levi Enson), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Donnie), and probably an MMA fighter who is looking to branch out. The crew knows all about Flanagan because they read cop blogs.
Incredible content. Despite the pressure from the police, Merrimen’s clique is looking to take down one last score, the biggest score: the Federal Reserve in the booming culinary hot spot of downtown Los Angeles. Share plates and bearer bonds. That’s what L.A. does.
Major Crimes Unit against Major Criminals, and a bank robbery in DTLA. HEAT. IT’S HEAT. If you’re going to ruin a classic, RUIN IT. Do the cops have limits? Spoiler:
There’s an open spot on the Dumpuary Mount Rushmore, next to Kate Winslet’s Russian mob boss from Triple 9, Scoot McNairy’s sober coke lord from Sleepless, and three Liam Neeson faces (Non-Stop Liam Neeson, The Grey Liam Neeson, Taken Liam Neeson). I think Gerard might be ready to take it.