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Army of Thieves (2021) Movie Review

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Centfie writes empirical views based on observation, experience, and research.

If you are looking for a funny movie to watch in which for once the good guys get caught yet are also the heroes, Army of Thieves (2021) will be that for you.

Zack Snyder and Shay Hatten created this fantastic story. Matthias Schweighöfer directed the movie, with himself as the main actor; and also starring Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, Jonathan Kohen, and Naomi Nakai among other supporting actors.

Army of Thieves (2021) Main characters

Sebastian (and a difficult second name): the extraordinary safe cracker
Gwendolyn: the ringleader
Korina: the hacker
Rolph: the best getaway driver
Alexis/Brad cage: the muscles, alluding to Nicholas Cage and Brad Pitt.
Bly Tanaka: an obsessed billionaire
Delacroix: Interpol detective
Beatrix: Delacroix's partner

The Plot

The movie starts eerily with a male narrator speaking in the background, with a strong German accent telling a story about puzzles.

Sebastian, the super safe cracker is the man behind the voice. He uploads his video and you can see his expectations on his face. This first scene with this character is funny and prompted me to make myself comfortable in my seat in anticipation of a great hilarious movie.

His uploaded video gets one view and one comment that leads him down a path of adventure and a secret world. He follows the instructions in the comment to a safe-cracking podium, and it takes him a while before he adjusts to the action and gets that he is in a competition.

Puzzles that can only be solved by those worthy.

— Army of Thieves (2021)

At first, it seems he does not understand what is going on in that basement but he is happy to be there, somewhere he belongs, that aligns with his passion. In the process, he notices a beautiful lady smiling at him.

The viewer is introduced to "the ring circle." The safes they are targeting were made by the legendary Hans Wagner, 3 of them in various locations: Paris, Prague, and St Moritz.

The puzzles that Sebastian's legendary icon created are going to be destroyed in four days. He’s hooked in by Gwendolyn’s attempts to recruit him into a team that gives him a chance for an exciting heist job away from the drudgery of his office job.

Hence, the title of the movie starts making sense at this point. Each member of the team has a special skill set and what they were missing is someone with Sebastian’s skills, they call themselves the “International Heisting Crew.”

You are my one view on YouTube

— Sebastian in Army of Thieves, 2021

Meanwhile, on the news, a virus in Nevada that looks like Rabies has infected people and they are calling it a Zombie Apocalypse. But relax, Zack Snyder promises on his social media that “This is not a zombie movie.”

Sebastian is anxious about his first heist. He gets to the safe, and is fascinated by it, Gwendolyn has to bear with his maneuvers at that moment. He has a knack for safe cracking as he listens to the locks while working and we are shown the interior structures as he works on the safes. No wonder, Gwen describes him as a “beautiful strange man.”

Delacroix, an Interpol detective determined to catch the thieves after the first successful break into the safe. He is waiting with his team, having known where they were heading next. But the team is a few steps ahead.

This is Everest, this is Big Foot, and this is about becoming legends.

— Gwendolyn, Army of Thieves (2021)

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It’s exhilarating how the team works together, Brad creating a distraction. The second safe is more complicated than they had imagined and on top of that, they have to evade Delacroix. I enjoyed how the scenes switch from the thieves to Delacroix showing us multiple perspectives consecutively.

Not all members of the team are pleased with Sebastian, creating conflict among them. They get into some internal conflict that threatens the solidarity of the "army." such as arguments about the purpose of their work. Gwen on one occasion states, “It’s not just about money, Brad.”

Will they be caught? Which team members will stay on the purposeful safe-cracking path? Watch Army of Thieves to enjoy the action.


Setting: various cities

Genre: action, comedy

Themes: heist, crime, drama, betrayal

Warnings: strong language

What I enjoyed the most about this movie was the humor, enhanced by the witty dialogues, and Sebastian’s funny facial expressions. By 25 minutes of running time, I had laughed about 4 times.

I was sold by the meticulous sound effects of the safe cracking and cheerful character of Sebastian.

We know the characters better through flashbacks of their lives. Gwendolyn shares with Sebastian about her dream, the ultimate safe, and it’s in Nevada in the middle of the Zombie apocalypse.

After all the pain and the fear, there’s a happy ending.

— Siegfried, Army of Thieves, 2021

The use of "a story within a story" when Sebastian tells of the history of the locks and the themes such as deception and double-crossing love, makes Army of Thieves so theatrical and poetic.

Also, Gwen’s believable performance in action scenes, hilarious, fleeing police chase, Sebastian, and his zombie nightmares; all add up to an amazingly entertaining movie to watch.

I also noted the well-thought-out statements that seem to summarize the gist of the movie such as:

“How sad it is that this great man, devoted his life to this work. Nobody never really appreciate it or understood his genius cause to understand a work, you must engage with it.”

I will probably re-watch this movie, which is a rare thing for me to do. It’s so cool despite a few predictable plot clichés here and there that it could have done without.

Hence, Army of Thieves deserves 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend the movie to viewers looking for a combination of action, a love story, and a good laugh.

Do not fret over the probably insignificant significance of the Zombie Apocalypse in the movie; this is a prequel to Army of the Dead by the same creative writers and director.

© 2022 Centfie

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