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Army of Thieves Movie Review

Army of Thieves (2021)

Watch Army of Thieves on Netflix
Written by: Zack Snyder (based on characters created by), Shay Hatten (screenplay by)
Directed by: Matthias Schweighöfer
Starring: Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee
Rated: TV-MA
Watch the trailer

A prequel, set before the events of Army of the Dead, which focuses on German safecracker Ludwig Dieter leading a group of aspiring thieves on a top secret heist during the early stages of the zombie apocalypse.

A prequel wasn’t needed, though if one was going to be made Ludwig is the character to choose. This is a standard heist movie with a focus on safe cracking and the extraordinary yet nervous safe cracker Ludwig. He’s an interesting character, but this movie doesn’t have enough to back him.
Skip it.

Ludwig, in this movie known as Sebastian (Matthias Schweighöfer) is safe cracking enthusiast with a little known Youtube channel working as a bank teller. For some reason a heist crew is scouring Youtube for a safe cracker. That seems odd, though I supposed you can learn everything on Youtube. I wish we knew how many times the crew reached out to defunct channels before finding their man.

Matthias Schweighöfer plays Sebastian

To test his skills Sebastian enters a competitive safe cracking competition that’s also a spectator sport. I have to imagine it’s portrayed far more interesting than it would be in person. Sebastian wins the competition and gets to join the crew.

This crew wants to rob certain vaults for the reputation of cracking the safes rather than just the money. It’s a dubious reason for a crime.

Nathalie Emmanuel and Matthias Schweighöfer play Gwendoline and Sebastian

Sebastian adds plenty of humor to this. He has the theoretical knowledge, but he’s never committed a crime. Sebastian is a complete subversion of most heist tropes, which makes this a lot more interesting than it could have been. He’s high strung and nervous about everything, easily the best character. The other characters get a bit detail, but only enough to tell them apart.

The final heist of course is full of twists and turns, but it’s not that intriguing. This forces plenty of style with glittering title cards and asynchronous
story telling, but it’s not enough to keep this captivating.

The final scene leads right into Army of the Dead.

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