Army of Thieves – 2021

Director Matthias Schweighöfer
Screenplay Shay Hatten
Starring Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, Jonathan Cohen

Army of Thieves is a sort of prequel to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. It’s directed and starring one of the quirkier characters, Dieter (Schweighöfer). When first hearing of this story, it seemed a little too quaint to tie into that brutal Snyder world of the dead. Army of Thieves feels as quaint as a home movie compared to that barn burner.

The story involves the doldrum life of Sebastian, which is Dieter’s real name. He makes videos about safes that have viewers in the single digits. One day, one of the single digits, named Gwendoline (Emmanuel), lures him into the world of safecracking, particularly those of Hans Wagner. The three remaining safes are located in three places in Europe. Of course Gwendoline has a team with her. Of course the team has issues.

The point to this story is to explore Dieter’s motivations and Hatten and Schweighöfer do a good job making the oddball something of an adorable nerd. The interplay between Sebastian and his team is fun enough for 90 minutes but pushes it at 120. The chemistfry between Emmanuel and Sebastian is a darling one. The mixture of innocence and experience is actually a delight throughout.

There is nothing here that is any type of mystery. The story plot is not to give us any amount of intrigue. The heists are different, but none all that complex. The film does what it has to do by giving us someone to root for in the likely sequel to both of the films.

(***1/2 out od ******)

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