ARMY OF THIEVES (2021)
I didn’t know that I needed Ludwig Dieter in my life this much, but I sure am happy he is here. Army of Thieves isn’t anything new, playing as a more modern Ocean’s 11, but it sure is a whole lot of fun.
The safecracking Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer), who arguably stole the show in last year’s Army of the Dead, is recruited by a team of thieves in this prequel film, showcasing the character’s talents and fleshing out his quirky rode to Las Vegas. The film wastes no time diving right in to an explanation of what is going on; we meet the team rather quickly, composed of Nathalie Emmanuel’s Gwendoline, Ruby O. Fee’s Korina, Stuart Martin’s Brad Cage, and Guz Khan’s Rolph. Together they romp through Europe in an effort to crack some of the world’s most notorious safes, the last of which is in Nevada (get it?). For the humorous crime film that Army of Thieves is, the chemistry of this band of misfits works rather well. Sure, some of the writing is goofy and predictable, but it always returns back to Schweighöfer stealing the show.
Schweighöfer also directed and his approach is a refreshing one, not diving too deep into emotions and backstory, but instead keeping the ball rolling with a high entertainment factor shot much like the film before it. Seeing the insides of the safes when Dieter is in the process of opening them is rather neat, although it admittedly becomes repetitive. While the ultimate journey of Dieter to the Nevada team is tenuous at best, it works for the levity of the projects. Army of Thieves makes me want to revisit Army of the Dead and actually has me itching for more stories in this world; these films don’t take themselves too seriously and are a welcomed cinematic playground. What a pleasant surprise.
Army of Thieves hits Netflix on Friday.
Photo from Netflix