Army Of Thieves centres around hobbyist safecracker Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer – who also directed this), and serves as a prequel to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, a great, fun zombie movie, so I was expecting more of the same.
Dieter – well, his real name is Sebastian, but he prefers to go by the name of Dieter, which he’ll explain later in the film – has made a lot of videos on Youtube about safecracking, but apart from the fact that no-one’s watched them, for his latest opus, he talks about a man called Hans Wagner – a locksmith, and pillar of the community, who suffered a personal tragedy which led him to create four safes, one for each opera of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. There’s a long and complicated explanation about how they’re very difficult to open, but some of the safes are still out there somewhere.
Before long, the plot points him towards Gwendloline (Nathalie Emmanuel) – a master thief who is part of a crew who carries out international bank heists, and who gives him the chance to crack three of the safes across Europe – including Paris and Prague, which each have millions of combinations. The team he joins provide distraction (Gwen), muscle – Brad Cage (Stuart Martin), tech smarts – Korina (Ruby O Fee), and driver Rolph (Guz Khan).
Add in a team of cops led by Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen) – who makes Inspector Clouseau look intelligent, and his far cleverer No.1, Beatrix (Noémie Nakai), and given what I was led to believe from the premise, I was expecting a zombie movie, but it’s basically a heist movie, with only hints of zombieness, such as early on while working in a bank, and he sees the zombie apocalypse beginning on the TV…
…although that conveniently gets completely forgotten about to the entire world as the safe-cracking begins. That did seem rather bizarre.
Army Of Thieves does have slick direction, but at 129 minutes, it goes on way too long for what it needs to do, and if you do want zombie greatness, go back and rewatch the aforementioned Zack Snyder film.
I did have a concern early on, in that Dieter’s seen walking about town with a coffee he’s just bought (with a closed lid), and a small cake balanced on top. He’s walking about without any thought given to securing the cake from slipping off the top. Safety first! 😉
In addition, when big safes open, why doesn’t an alarm go off somewhere? If only for security to double check that it has a reason to be open?
Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.
Army Of Thieves is on Netflix from Friday October 29th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 129 minutes
Release date: October 29th 2021
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
Director: Matthias Schweighöfer
Producers: Wesley Coller, Dan Maag, Matthias Schweighöfer, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder
Screenplay: Shay Hatten
Story: Zack Snyder, Shay Hatten
Characters: Zack Snyder
Music: Steve Mazzaro, Hans Zimmer
Dieter: Matthias Schweighöfer
Gwendoline: Nathalie Emmanuel
Korina: Ruby O Fee
Brad: Stuart Martin
Rolph: Guz Khan
Delacroix: Jonathan Cohen
Beatrix: Noémie Nakai
Hans Wagner: Christian Steyer
Big Tough Guy: Dan Bradford
Basement Mcee: Tonya Graves
Mr. Cool Guy: Trent Garrett
Lucy: Barbara Meier
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.