Army of Thieves – Review

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Leaving aside the end result for a moment, but the world of Army of the Dead has an interesting development idea. The shift in genres, sequels, prequels, or spin-offs, is actually nothing new. The atmospheric horror of Alien (1979) became bombastic in Aliens (1986), Pitch Black (2000) shifted to space opera in The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), as we all know how Fast Five (2011) changed the face of the series.

But the Army of Thieves was different. You could say it’s more extreme, it also opens up opportunities to expand the universe into various forms, without the limitations of genre, color, and style. Top Movie Site

Set in Germany when a zombie apocalypse is just beginning to plague America, this film does not feature zombie attacks at all (except on television), nor does it leave the horror feel of the previous films. Purely the story of the beginning of Ludwig Dieter’s “career”, who here still uses the name Sebastian (played by Matthias Schweighöfer who also acts as director).

In between his time as a bank employee with boring routines, Sebastian makes YouTube videos about safecracking which is his obsession. His idol is Hans Wagner, the legendary figure who made four safes that are said to be impossible to break (one of the safes is missing, and we only met him in Army of the Dead). His talent is smelled by Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel), who recruits Sebastian into his team, in order to break into three safes made by Wagner. Besides Sebastian and Gwendoline, there are Korina (Ruby O. Fee) the hacker, Brad Cage (Stuart Martin) the muscle owner, and Rolph (Guz Khan) the reliable driver.

The first hour of Army of Thieves is a heist cliché spectacle, which makes fun of its clichés so the audience doesn’t think they are clichés. Formulas such as the formation of a team of thieves with different abilities, are used as meta humor material by the script by Shay Hatten (John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Army of the Dead). However, apart from this technique which has now become a cliché in itself, the outline of the plot in the first half still follows the old patterns of heist films. Just like people who say, “I know this is a stupid act”, while doing that stupid act.

Best Movie His comedy also often misses the mark, although like in the first film, Schweighöfer appears convincing as a genius vault breaker, who because of his clumsiness, often creates ridiculous situations. Then is the theft interesting? Related to that, the main weakness of Army of Thieves is the failure to involve the audience in the process.

What makes Sebastian special? Does he have any special techniques? Or above average ear sensitivity? Why was he superior, even though his competitors were using similar techniques? What was the cause when he had failed in one of the safes? Practically only the second safe is interesting, as it involves the implementation of the legend as Wagner’s source of inspiration, in the process Sebastian cracks the key to the safe. The rest is minimal intensity. The film seems to be engrossed in its own tinkering with puzzles, while the audience is only left to watch from afar.

At least another line of action was able to appear entertaining, thanks to Schweighöfer’s kinetic direction. The fights are dynamic, while the chase involving cars against bicycles in the middle of the city, is much more exciting than the speeding in many generic action films.

It was only after an hour, after a turning point, that the Army of Thieves went up to class, completely breaking away from the formula that he had wanted to avoid from the start but couldn’t. The turning point which also strengthened his underdog story, made the audience sympathize with the protagonist.

Since then, (although the action of breaking into the vault has remained stagnant), Army of Thieves has evolved towards a story about resistance against the possessor of power. There is a rivalry between Sebastian and Brad, who also likes Gwendoline. Brad is the “muscle” on the team. His real name is Alexis, but he changed it to Brad Cage (Brad Pitt + Nicolas Cage), because he thought the name sounded manly.

Sebastian with mediocre physical strength (if you don’t want to be called below average) and an awkward personality, is like the antithesis of the machismo revered by American popular culture, which puts physical, stature, and muscles above brain. We humans, of course, can associate ourselves with Sebastian better, so it’s easier to support him. Interestingly, muscular alpha male figures are a favorite of Zack Snyder as the creator of the universe, making Army of Thieves even more unique as a prequel/spin-off.

Interpol led by Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen) is an opponent, but he is not an intimidating apparatus. It even tends to be ridiculous. Delacroix holds a grudge against Brad for being shot in the ass, and he has been fooled many times. Is this depiction a form of satire for the “silliness” of the apparatus, such as when François Truffaut made the mafia appear comical in Shoot the Piano Player (1960) because of his dislike of them (not that I equate these two very different films).

Maybe I’m thinking too far. But the point is relevance. If the relevant (impression) above makes me (or other viewers, whoever it is) more able to appreciate the film, why not? Isn’t watching movies a spiritual and personal journey for each individual? Movie Review

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