Army of Thieves (2021)
November 1, 2021 2:17 PM - Subscribe

A prequel, set before the events of Army of the Dead, which focuses on German safecracker Ludwig Dieter leading a group of aspiring thieves on a top secret heist during the early stages of the zombie apocalypse.
posted by Kyol (8 comments total)
So, did you like Dieter in Army of the Dead? You know, the safecracker? C'mon, you've gotta remember at least _one_ character from that movie, right? No? C'mon, it was only 5 months ago!

I'm not sure why this got made, but it's relatively successful as a heist comedy. It's not Ocean's 11 or The Italian Job (either one), but there is thieving and hijinks, it's not really a Zach Snyder joint and some of the internal mythologizing is a little ridiculous, but it works?

You can definitely tell where the budget was and wasn't spent - it's not a $10 premium IMAX spectacle, but it is a reasonable way to kill 2 hours with Netflix.
posted by Kyol at 2:23 PM on November 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yes, competent, not particularly memorable. Might be nicer to watch this before Army of the Dead, or do something better with 4.5 hours of your time and skip both.
posted by Catblack at 2:57 PM on November 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I did not see Army of the Dead, but I thought this was an enjoyable enough movie. Not an all time classic, but fun enough. I particularly enjoyed how it pokes fun at some of the tropes found in heist movies. I did not enjoy how the timing of certain events got all weird at the end to create dramatic tension, but whatever, it's obviously not a film you're supposed to take that seriously.
posted by wierdo at 5:26 PM on November 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

So zombies don't appear until the third act?
posted by Beholder at 5:01 AM on November 2, 2021

I have to admit that of all of the characters in AoDead, I was curious why _he_ got the back story. I know Tig Notaro was a last minute plug in for the chopper pilot, but I also know I'm not the only one who digs competence in a certain kind of lady role.

My husband is a big fan of the Ring Cycle, and I felt bad that I hadn't pulled him in to watch it with me once I realized that connection. But then again, maybe it's better that I didn't?
posted by librarianamy at 7:36 AM on November 2, 2021

So zombies don't appear until the third act?

So basically Army of the Dead. (It had some zombies in the rest, but not that many.)
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:37 AM on November 2, 2021

Oh no, the zombies are there all along - in fact they're part of the pacing, which adds to some of the weird attempts at dramatic tension in the third act. I mean, we know where the safecracker is in the Army of the Dead, so we kind of guess what can and what cannot happen to him in Army of Thieves. I mean, the usual prequel problems, right? If they'd bumped it back a few more years (and divorced it entirely from its source material, true) you could at least have some risk.

Still, I've watched worse things on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I mean, if I had to guess, this is the result of an agreement between Matthias Schweighöfer and the AotD production company to bring him in to AotD? "You get to star in a spinoff movie!" Or maybe it's a cross promotional vehicle to show German / Euro viewers a familiar face so they might go on to watch AotD? Or maybe it let Netflix Germany take advantage of Netflix US's promotional dollars?
posted by Kyol at 7:42 AM on November 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

I wonder if the actor just took the opportunity and ran with it, especially given the weirdness of COVID production. Also Zack Snyder is not really my bag of tea (I liked Army of the Dead more than most of his movies, and....I did not love that movie) but people who work with him seem to generally seem to think he's a nice guy, and I can imagine everyone involved with the first movie (especially Netflix) liked the idea of a franchise.

Army of the Dead was not enough of a heist movie for me, so this was an improvement! And -- whew, everything related to "Brad Cage" was very funny/weird. I honestly cannot tell how much of the homoeroticism was intentional? But I'm kind of charmed by the idea of some weird action star stereotype being explicitly, in-universe modeled on other action star stereotypes.

The safes were dumb, though, right? I can give them a pass on the progressively more difficult safes (product differentiation!) But "the thief might destroy what's in the safe" is a poor deterrent when.... thieves don't own what's in the safe? Shoot your shot! Worst case, you arrive with nothing and you leave with nothing. There's no way those safes weren't bricked within weeks of creation.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:42 PM on November 4, 2021

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