I’m always up for a fun heist film, and Army of Thieves delivers just that. While I haven’t seen the film it’s a prequel to, Army of the Dead. I can say with confidence that Army of Thieves, like all good prequel films, works well on its own terms regardless of your knowledge of the film that came after it. (Though there is a mid-credits scene that I presume connects the two).
What matters here is that Army of Thieves is a fun and mostly lighthearted heist film that’s worth cracking open your Netflix subscription to see.
Army of Thieves Official Trailer
While a zombie outbreak rages across the world, average joe Sebastian (Matthias Schweighofer) spends his days as a bank teller getting yelled at by customers and his nights making YouTube videos about his true passion: Safecracking.
When one such video gets the attention of expert thief Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel), she recruits Sebastian to join her, hacker Korina (Ruby O. Fee), driver Rolph (Guz Khan) and muscular team leader Brad Cage (Stuart Martin) on an international mission to crack three legendarily difficult safes while the rest of the world is caught up in the zombie outbreak. Meanwhile, determined Interpol Agents Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen) and Beatrix (Noemie Nakai) have seen through the team’s ruse and are hot on their trail.
Army of Thieves is breezy fun. The characters are likable, the heist sequences have slick, playful energy, and the action scenes are cool. Matthias Schweighofer brings an endearingly innocent quality to his role and the supporting cast work well within their parts. I’m thankful the film keeps the zombie stuff as a background element and focuses on being a heist film above all else, and while the 3rd act starts taking itself a little too seriously, the overall package is still enjoyable enough to recommend.
Army of Thieves is a fun slice of heist entertainment with good performances, humor, and lightness. See it on Netflix.
3 out of 5 stars (average)
Army of Thieves Official Synopsis
After charming audiences as the wisecracking hero Dieter in Zack Snyder’s zombie blockbuster Army of the Dead, Matthias Schweighöfer takes centerstage in the film’s prequel, which he also directs. Ditching the undead, Army of Thieves puts a modern spin on classic heist films with European flair and an unlikely love story.
Produced by Snyder and co-starring Nathalie Emmanuel (the Fast and the Furious franchise), Army of Thieves chronicles the harrowing adventures that transformed Dieter from a sheepish German bank teller named Sebastian into the badass safe-cracker who became a fan-favorite character in Army of the Dead.
Sebastian’s impassioned YouTube videos about the fabled safes designed by the locksmith Hans Wagner (Christian Steyer) catch the eye of Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel), a beguiling career criminal whose take-no-prisoners exterior belies a desire to love and be loved. To Dieter’s shock, Gwen enlists him to be part of her motley crew of some of Interpol’s most wanted: the jack-of-all-trades Korina (Ruby O. Fee), rugged bad boy Brad (Stuart Martin), and getaway sidekick Rolph (Guz Khan).
As the five misfits zigzag across Europe cracking a trio of impenetrable vaults known as the Ring Cycle — Das Rheingold, the Valkyrie, and the Siegfried — French law-enforcement officials Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen) and Beatrix (Noémie Nakai) are hot on their trail. Anchored by a simmering romance between Dieter and Gwen, Army of Thieves broadens the scope of Snyder’s Army Universe while staying true to its vision as its own movie.
Army of Thieves premieres on Netflix on October 29, 2021. What did you think of Army of Thieves? Let us know in the comment section below or over on our social media!