A stylish heist movie that expands Zack Snyder’s zombie world
Army of thieves mission is to go back in time before the events of Army of the dead. As Dead served as an introduction to Zack Snyder’s cinematic universe on Netflix (home to a zombie-filled Las Vegas), Thieves adds new layers to the story of the original film through the eyes of one of its most notable characters, Ludwig Deiter. Snyder directed the original zombie thriller, but jumped out of his chair for the prequel and parked as a producer as Matthias Schweighöfer both stars in and directs Netflix’s latest heist film, creating one of his most exciting ventures of the year.
Army of thieves isn’t the zombie bloodbath that came before it. While the zombie outbreak has a small presence in the movie, Thieves begins with the silly young character of Schweighöfer sharing his safety ambitions with a YouTube audience that reaches record number of views when someone finally sees his videos. Schweighöfer’s Deiter has been hailed as the world’s best safe cracker in Army of the dead, which earned him a spot on the list when a team attempted to break into a safe under a casino. Thieves intends to explain why it is so perfect and how the trip in Dead follows a legendary journey for the character.
Schweighöfer impressively balances acting in the film and directing it, cracking the code of cinema on all fronts. He infuses the film with a wonderful kick of life with a high-energy, often hilarious performance that can also be scaled down for more intimate and emotional beats, on a dime. Enjoying his energizing performance with the knowledge of his mind, having also crafted every director’s beat, made Thieves a rather astonishing feat for the German actor and director who is set to experience a global career rebirth, if this kind of path interests the 40-year-old filmmaker.
The cast surrounding Schweighöfer is very complete. Nathalie Emmanuel steps in as Gwendoline, a mysterious figure who enlists the character of Schweighöfer in his team after demanding that he pass a series of tests that confirm his worth. Emmanuel brings a calm and yet very cool presence to the film which is only complemented by the formidable chemistry between the two protagonists. The icing on the cake is the fact that Emmanuel gets into the action, being one of the most charismatic and capable characters in the film who can beat an opponent whenever needed and intriguingly knows when. hold back for emotional or moral reasons. It’s great to see Emmanuel in a role that allows her to display a ton of her talent and charisma, even more than what we’ve seen from her in Game Of Thrones or the Fast Furious movies. Between the sympathy of the characters of Emmanuel and Schweighöfer, Thieves is also there to steal your heart, while encouraging them to become theirs.
Guz Khan, Stuart Martin and Ruby O. Fee also all have their moments in the sun. Khan delivers as a comedic and stylish getaway driver. Fee portrays the character of a clever hacker, bringing the necessary confidence and sarcasm to the role. Martin comes across as the most ridiculous character of all, Brad Cage. Brad wants to be an action hero to America’s most cliched movie stars and Martin brings him to life in hilarious form, but also capitalizes on moments that are supposed to elicit intense audience reactions.
While all of the main actors do their jobs really well, it’s Schweighöfer who deserves the real praise for his double effort here. Army of thieves is beautifully shot, making great use of the European locations both in the cities and the sprawling open-air landscapes. The action sequences move at a terrific pace, the comedy lands with good timing, and the Heist movie serves just that with an interesting combination of romantic comedy themes and action heist elements. Without forgetting, the pleasure plays on small details that only big fans of Army of the dead will catch.
Schweighöfer and the Emmanuel characters have a very fun relationship to follow which in itself sets the group up to have some heartbreaking moments. The inherent drama is a big passenger in a car driven by the heist series, all of which are successful and uniquely delivered to the public with surprising payoffs and terrific styling. Army of thieves is more of a heist movie than the movie it precedes, tripling the chests and going all out for a sleek delivery. Without forgetting, the Thieves The score by Steve Mazzaro and Hans Zimmer is awesome. The whole film makes you want to spend a certain number of hours with these characters. It’s great to see the keys and world of Snyder present in the movie as he seems to have a sprawling and ambitious plan for this cinematic world. It’s also great to see him give Schweighöfer the opportunity to expand the world through his own lens, honoring Snyder’s contribution. Army of the dead work (and consistently impressive visual styles) while maintaining the presence of her own style and voice.
The truth is that the public can watch Army of thieves and enjoy it if they have seen Army of the dead or not. Thieves only Dead better, but these are drastically different films. Thieves borrows much more from Schweighöfer’s voice, replacing much of the violence with funny and often heartfelt moments. Snyder’s universe always has its welcome influences, as a few sequences in the film see zombies playing a part in the plot and some of the deeper questions of Army of the dead maybe become a factor. The big hope here, however, is that it all pays off with a full explanation somewhere down the line. by netflix Army of the dead the universe now contains two radically different heist films with seeds planted for big questions. So far, they are more than welcome as both films have been extremely entertaining.
Evaluation: 4.5 out of 5 stars