Army of Thieves: Movie Review

If you're coming into "Army of Thieves" thinking this will be heavily-connected to "Army of the Dead", then this prequel of sorts will be a disappointment. But as a standalone heist film, the whole experience actually works. It's not memorable but it's not bad either - it was wholesome and brainless fun - perfect to waste a couple of hours away without feeling any guilt.
Based in Potsdam, Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert (Matthias Schweighöfer) is living a boring and uneventful life as a bank teller. Ever since he was little though, he has had this weird obssession in safecracking. His biggest dream is to unlock the four safes of the legendary locksmith Hans Wagner. One day, a mysterious woman (Nathalie Emmanuel) approaches him and makes an offer he cannot refuse - the woman reveals that she knows locations of the 3 of the 4 Wagner safes and she plans to open and rob them. If he joins her ragtag group of criminals, he gets a chance to unlock all three. Will Sebastian accept and fulfill his life-long dream?
One of our favorite characters in "Army of the Dead" was the character of Ludwig Dieter. His quirky character and combined with the perfectly-awkward performance of Matthias Schweighöfer made him stand out. Likewise, "Army of Thieves" works because it revolves around the character of Ludwig Dieter detailing his origins and also the actor behind him, Matthias Schweighöfer (in fact, the film is directed by Matthias Schweighöfer). The film, in fact, felt a lot cleaner and a lot more substantial than the main film it is loosely-based on. But if you're expecting the same beats of this having zombies abound then you'll be disappointed because zombies barely make an appearance here. If we could pick one of the biggest problems with "Army of Thieves", it would be its bloated runtime. At two hours long, a lot of elements got repetitive especially the sequences wherein Ludwig opened the Wagner safes. These Wagner safes apparently had distinct mechanisms from each other but we were hard-pressed to really point out how they were different except for physical differences. It is unfortunate that those who will attempt to watch "Army of Thieves" will most likely be heavily-influenced by "Army of the Dead" - as it will define how much viewers enjoy the experience overall.  
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- as a standalone heist film, this was wholesome fun

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the runtime was quite bloated for what we get in return
- loose connections with "Army of the Dead" will leave those expecting action and horror disappointed
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