“Army of Thieves” Movie Review

Story posted November 6, 2021 in

After fighting an army of the dead, it is now time to meet an army of thieves.

“Army of Thieves'' is a romantic-heist comedy that is directed by Matthias Schweighöfer. It is also a prequel to Zach Snyder’s recently released “Army of the Dead.”

“Army of Thieves” may not have all the zombies or the same amount of action as the first one, but has the heart and heist elements from the first film.

The film’s basic plot is about Ludwig Dieter, or Sebastian, in this film and how he helps pull off three different safe-breaking heists, while falling in love with a member from his crew.

The heists of the movie were amazing. The characters of the film had to break into three different safes in a couple of days and each heist was more exciting than the last.

The heists were filled with humor, action and oddly a little bit of suspense because at any moment something can go wrong and a member of the crew can be captured.

Even with suspense, the comedy shines though. There are many quirky scenes that make the movie funny. Especially with the commentary against heist movies that they are currently in.

The movie is also just filled with many comedic performers and one-liners that make it fun to watch.
There is less action in “Army of Thieves” than “Army of the Dead,” but when there is action, it is very reminiscent of “Army of the Dead” style. With its over-top action and plenty of glorified shots, the action is always exciting to see.

The core part of the story is that it is a romance.

It manages to show the love of a closed off girl and a shy nerd who got caught up in his work. Not only did they go the classic sense of love route, but they also showed it in love of friends, family or interests and in each category. It delivered the message that one should do what they love to truly live. The message of love was strongly displayed well throughout the film.

The cast of the film is much shorter than the previous. The main crew and villains were Matthias Schweighöfer as Sebastian, Nathalie Emmanuel as Gwendoline, Ruby O. Fee as Korina, Stuart Martin as Brad Cage, Guz Khan as Rolph, Jonathan Cohen as Delacroix, and Noemie Nakai as Beatrix.

For Schweighöfer, not only was his performance of Sebastian better than his performance in “Army of the Dead,” but he also directed the film. This German director and actor were the highlight of the movie and proved he can do it all. Schweighöfer has a bright future ahead of him especially after his goofy, yet heartfelt performance as Sebastian.

Emmanuel has a strong performance as well. She manages to be mysterious and open at the same time. She played an empowering character, and she was just a joy to see as Sebastian’s down to earth love interest.

O. Fee wasn’t really used until the second half of the film. She played the tech genius in the crew and was one of the best characters of the film. She was an awkwardly funny genius throughout the movie. O. Fee went above and beyond in her role.

Martin’s Brad Cage is the action element of the film. He plays the boyfriend of Gwen and “leader” of the crew, but where he really shines is how he is supposed to be an action hero. He does great in the action part, but not so much for the hero. He is also the center piece for all the movie’s action.

Khan’s Rolph played a get-away driver for the crew. He was very underutilized in the film and was just kind of standing there not adding anything to the movie.

Cohen’s Delacroix is the cop trying to hunt down the crew. He was shot in the butt by Cage and wants revenge. His performance was just over-the-top angry, and it didn’t work well. He also keeps getting taken down way too easily, so he doesn’t feel like a threat at all and leaves much to be desired.

Nakai’s Beatrix was the kinder of two cops. She was level-headed and a more relatable character. Her issue is that the movie didn’t use her, so she didn’t get the proper development fans would’ve hoped for.
There are some flaws in the film, however.

As previously mentioned in each of the main actor’s performances, some of the characters were underused or lacked development.

The story of each safe was a bit confusing and can easily be confused in. The grand story each safe is supposed to tell doesn’t really wrap up well, as well as the ending overall.

If the movie ended slightly earlier than it did, it would have been better overall.

There are some more flaws but cannot be said without spoilers.

So, spoiler warning ahead.

Throughout the whole film, there are dreams that predict Sebastian’s death in the first film. He sees zombies in his dream killing him by a safe. It felt unneeded and would confuse people who haven’t seen “Army of the Dead.”

A lot of the movie is about how he ended up in the crew of “Army of the Dead.” Once again, it works well if one has seen the first movie, but those who haven’t are left confused. So, scenes like that really hurt the movie for people who haven’t seen “Army of the Dead.”

Also, the movie ends with his first scene in “Army of the Dead.” It would’ve worked better if it was an end credit and ended with him escaping with his new name, Ludwig Dieter.

The spoilers have ceased.

Overall, the film was exciting, funny and provided a great prequel to “Army of the Dead.”

Anyone who is looking for a heist-filled romcom, this is the movie for you.

Rating: 3/5 stars


Ethan Hetrick is a first-year communication major. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu.