Released: 29th October 2021
Cast: Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee & Guz Khan
Director: Matthias Schweighöfer
Writer: Zack Snyder & Shay Hatten
Duration: 2hr 7mins
Genres: Action, Comedy & Crime.
Synopsis: 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.
I truly appreciate the art successful bank heist movie; this subgenre has given me some excellent storylines and memorable characters: Inside Man & The Italian Job being among my favourites. Ludwig Dieter’s character is why I watched this prequel. I noticed that Army of the Dead had a decent concept. Robbing a bank in a zombie-infested city sounded like a game-changer and reminded me slightly of Resident Evil. The problem is I realised that all the pieces never clicked together. It appeared to be rushed and out of shape.
Army of Thieves takes place six years before Army of the Dead and cracking Hans Wagner’s: “The Ring Circle” safes were the ultimate mission for the squad. It’s either they were unbothered by the approaching apocalypse or decided to use it to their advantage as the world’s eyes were focused somewhere else, making it the perfect time to get the job done.
I needed to see how Dieter developed into the person I remembered from the previous movie. He’s a nerd, the guy who was out of place within a squad of naturally born criminals, which made him relatable to me in more ways than one. His shy persona shines through as he progresses on this journey while solving the complex mechanics of these safes. It felt like I was watching a superhero grow into his powers. Okay, maybe not a superhero in the Comic Book or Anime sense, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. The story becomes more about self-discovery than the bank heists themselves.
Nathalie Emmanuel has levelled up since her days of playing Sasha Valentine in Hollyoaks. I appreciate the growth she’s shown over the years. Without the success of Game of Thrones, I’m doubtful she would’ve achieved her big break in the US at all. Even Guz Khan from Man Like Mobeen bagged a role in this newly formed dream team. Stuart Martin's complete look had a Wolverine type presence.
I wouldn’t describe it as a masterpiece. There’s still something missing for me. I’m unsure what that is. Maybe it’s because it had a lower budget than I expected, and it didn’t seem like the true masterpiece it could have been. Post-production should have shortened a few of the less important scenes as the movie was slightly too long for me. Surprisingly, I remained entertained throughout.
My Star rating: 3.5/5.
What are your thoughts?... Am I overselling the movie, or am I not seeing it for the beauty it is?
All images taken from Google Images.