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Review: Army of Thieves is a neat, witty, and within the slay poignant heist thriller | DietDF

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Shine on, you irregular pleasing nerd —

Not many zombies, but hundreds of Wagner and the return of our fave goofy nerd Ludwig Dieter.

Jennifer Ouellette

  • The brilliantly nerdy, high-strung German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) turned into a highlight of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Tiresome. Now he has his accumulate prequel initiating build story with Army of Thieves.


  • Nathalie Emmanuel co-stars as Gwendoline, a mysterious girl who entices Dieter (aka Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert) to be half of her for a series of heists.


  • Brad Cage (Stuart Martin) is the muscle.


  • Here is “master hacker” Korina (Ruby O. Rate).


  • Meet getaway driver Rolph (Guz Khan).


  • Intepol agents Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen) and Beatrix (Noemie Nakai) bear been chasing Gwendoline and her gang of thieves.


A humble, nerdy financial institution teller with a secret ardour for safecracking finds himself taking on the heist ache of a lifetime in Army of Thieves, a prequel to Zack Snyder’s hugely though-provoking Army of the Tiresome, which debuted earlier this twelve months on Netflix. Army of Thieves is gentle on zombies but brings the identical sly humor and thrilling action to its story, making it a beautifully crafted though-provoking romp in its accumulate correct.

(Spoilers for Army of the Tiresome below. Mainly gentle spoilers for Army of Thieves, but while you happen to haven’t considered its predecessor, there would possibly perhaps be one fundamental spoiler at the tip. We will come up with a heads up when we accumulate there.)

Army of the Tiresome adopted Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) and his group of mercenaries as they ventured into zombie-infested Las Vegas to enhance hundreds and hundreds in money from a casino vault. Brain-munching carnage ensued. Besides to to Tig Notaro’s delightfully cynical pilot and Samantha Receive’s martial arts fireworks, viewers loved the dynamic between zombie-killing-machine Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) and the brilliantly nerdy, high-strung German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). Not completely did the 2 forge a believable (albeit reluctant) bond, Dieter’s smartly-timed high-pitched screams whenever a zombie charged turned into one among several working gags. So naturally Dieter got his accumulate prequel. And what? Schweighöfer’s standout persona deserved one.

Army of Thieves turned into already in post-production when Army of the Tiresome debuted, having wrapped filming in Germany in December. Schweighöfer each stars and directs, and while the movie is no longer a bona fide zombie movie, it is build of residing within the early phases of the zombie outbreak that makes up the gap backstory montage of Army of the Tiresome. The plot “takes build in a world the build these zombies exist in The United States and it is inflicting instability within the banking institutions,” Deborah Snyder told Indie Wire. “They’re transferring money spherical, so it is miles the finest alternative for a heist.”

Chillaxing before a heist with a game of beer pong.

Extend / Chillaxing earlier than a heist with a game of beer pong.


Because the movie opens, we be taught that Dieter turned into once Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert, a anxious, nebbishy financial institution teller in Potsdam with a lifelong fascination with safecracking. He follows the identical tedious each day routine and occasionally posts videos about his ardour to YouTube, all of which garner exactly zero views. However then he decides to attain a video a pair of legendary quartet of supposedly uncrackable safes modeled on Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle: the Rhinegold, the Valkyrie, the Siegfried, and the Götterdämmerung. The one who made them—a locksmith named Hans Wagner (Christian Steyer)—did so after shedding his wife and youngster, and legend holds that when he turned into accomplished, he locked himself internal one among his accumulate safes to die.

That video draws the eye of master their Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel). She’s having a seek for for a safecracker who would have the flexibility to cracking Wagner’s very no longer truly safes and decides Sebastian is the person for the job, irrespective of his eccentricities. The remainder of the group contains “master hacker” Korina (Ruby O. Rate), getaway driver Rolph (Guz Khan), and the muscular Brad Cage (Stuart Martin), “our very accumulate live action hero.” Sebastian sums every thing up smartly: “So is it love in a movie movie the build each of us has a varied skill build of residing and completely working collectively that we are in a position to drag off that which wants the pulling off?” Crawl, exactly love that.

Sebastian and Gwen find their way to the Rhinegold safe—first of four in the legendary

Extend / Sebastian and Gwen salvage their manner to the Rhinegold precise—first of 4 within the legendary “Wagner cycle.”


The Ring Cycle safes are for the time being owned by billionaire Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), who build of residing the events of Army of the Tiresome in motion. The Rhinegold is in Paris, the Valkyrie is in Prague, the Siegfried is in St. Moritz, and the Götterdämmerung is rumored to be in Las Vegas. Complicating issues is an dauntless Interpol agent named Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen), who has a non-public vendetta towards Brad Cage—in explicit, for shooting him within the derriere on a earlier job. Noemie Nakai performs Delacroix’s Interpol colleague Beatrix, who tries to rein in his worst vengeful impulses.

Schweighöfer proves to be as equally professional a director as he is an actor, clearly drawing on classic heist movies love Ocean’s Eleven and The Italian Job for inspiration. There are sly nods to the tropes of the model for the length of. Rather than a pair of lagging moments, the pacing is brisk, and the level of curiosity on a series of an increasing number of sophisticated heists ensures that the stakes (and suspense) shield rising. Many of the characters are, admittedly, no longer especially smartly developed, apart from Gwendoline and Sebastian, but they are colorfully distinctive and assist shield the tone gentle and full of life.

Wagner’s narrative opera most positively informs the plot, but Schweighöfer wisely avoids being too glaring with the parallels. Pretty, these parts are woven into Sebastian’s emotional building over the direction of the movie, as he gains a deeper thought of why Hans Wagner created these exquisite safes out of his ache within the principle build and named them after the Ring cycle.

(WARNING: A fundamental spoiler for Army of the Tiresome is below, with verbalize pertaining to Army of Thieves.)

Brad gives Gwendoline a helpful getaway hand.

Extend / Brad offers Gwendoline a priceless getaway hand.


Schweighöfer’s deft performance performs up the persona’s goofy sweetness and social awkwardness—the high-pitched screams remain a trademark—but additionally showcases the qualities that build of residing him apart from varied professional safecrackers: a poetic nature, surprising moments of bravery, and a ambitious dash of non-public altruism. Here’s a movie that celebrates characters who honor artistry above filthy lucre. Sebastian is driven by the ache of the quest. Any money is a aspect profit.

However what in regards to the zombies, that it is possible you’ll perhaps possible smartly request? Well, zombies attain appear, but completely in recordsdata accounts playing on TV screens within the background—and in Sebastian’s an increasing number of radiant nightmares. Gwendoline dismisses them as fair some other aspect form of his naturally high-strung, anxious nature, but Korina speculates that the goals would be prophetic. Anybody who has considered Army of the Tiresome is conscious of that Korina’s interpretation is extra correct; the nightmares are a legend foreshadowing of Sebastian’s closing fate.

We know that Sebastian will change into Ludwig Dieter and wing to The United States. We know that he’ll prove being recruited by Scott Ward for one closing heist: cracking the elusive Götterdämmerung, which (as Gwendoline guessed properly) is found within the bowels of a Las Vegas casino now under the shield a watch on of a horde of zombies. And all people is conscious of that he’ll reach his quest to crack it.

Interpol on the hunt.

Extend / Interpol on the hunt.


Alas, he does so at the price of his existence, because (sniff—give me a 2nd) he sacrifices himself to save his recent buddy Vanderohe from zombies. By hook or by crook, colorful Sebastian’s closing fate makes Army of Thieves all the extra poignant. Shine on, you irregular, pleasing nerd.

Zack Snyder is already engaged on fleshing out the franchise. There can be an sharp sequence touchdown next twelve months that Snyder has talked about will uncover the build the fashioned zombies came from. There is also an Army of the Tiresome sequel, Planet of the Tiresome, in building. Snyder has been obscure on fundamental facets but told Diversity that “time loops,” “portals,” and “doorways to varied nation-states” will feature prominently. Does that mean we would request the return of Sebastian/Dieter, Scott Ward, and the remainder of the Army of the Tiresome crew in some alternate incarnation? Signs show “possible.” Even though we don’t, Army of Thieves offers Ludwig Dieter the hero’s sendoff he deserves.

Itemizing image by Netflix

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