Army Of Thieves is yet another work of brilliance from mastermind filmmaker and writer, Zack Snyder. His influence is at the forefront of this story, even though this time, Snyder hands over the director’s reins to Matthias Schweighöfer,. The mix of Schweighöfer and Snyder’s styles work incredibly well together while allowing moments where each creative’s style gets to shine bright. Viewers familiar with Snyder’s work will definitely recognize the moments where the distinct styles separate. However, the glue that holds the work together is the cast, who all have their own way of bringing Army of Thieves to life.
An Unforgettable Invitation Sets It All Off
Set 6 years before Army of the Dead, this story follows Schweighöfer’s character, Ludwig Dieter ( whose real name is Sebastian). Dieter receives a mysterious comment on his Youtube video about the infamous safes made by Hans Wagner. He later learns that the message was from the international most wanted Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel) and she wants him to join a heist team.
With nothing to lose, Dieter leaves his uneventful life behind to join Gwendoline’s team, which includes: Ruby O. Fee as Korina, the master hacker; Guz Khan as Rolph the getaway driver; and Stuart Martin as Brad Cage the action hero and self-proclaimed leader of the group. With everyone somewhat united as a group, they move forward with their plan to crack three different Wagner safes- however, things don’t go according to plan.
A Few Standout Mentions in a Stellar Cast
Emmanuel is one of the many highlights of this film. As Gwendoline, she commanded attention in every scene she was in, nearly stealing the spotlight in some cases. Gwendoline, like many Snyder-written female leads, offers a refreshing take on the usual characters lumped into the “strong female character” trope that we see quite a bit in films these days. She’s badass, intelligent, and capable–traits that are all shown to the audience, not told.
Schweighöfer is also a stand-out in the film, and not just because of his fantastic performance as Dieter/Sebastian. He managed to deliver that brilliant performance while directing. Schweighöfer’s Dieter/Sebastian is as funny as he is intelligent, too. There are moments that make it very clear just how well the actor/director understands his character from both an actor’s perspective and a director’s perspective.
Some Army of the Dead Easter Eggs and Big Themes
Among the references throughout the film are Easter eggs, and cool nods to Zack Snyder’s other works and even his upcoming projects. There is also an underlying story here as there was in Army of the Dead. Snyder fans and others will notice the themes of grief, legacy, and respecting the legacy of someone who passed on. You will see it as Dieter journeys toward cracking all of Hans Wagner’s safes. Dieter is the only one who bothered to learn about the safecracker and his work long after the man had passed on.
A Fun Ride for Everyone
While there are no zombies or over-the-top body-horror, Army of Thieves delivers the punch and excitement all the same. The film is packed full of amazing chase scenes, badass action, a dash of well-placed humor, and some deliberate plot holes and missing pieces that will have the audience on the edge of their seats. The film makes it harder to wait patiently until the next film in the franchise, Planet of the Dead is released.
But, there are still many theories and spoilers to discuss. Tell us what some of yours are.
Army of Thieves is available on Netflix on October 29, 2021.
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