The film is very well-shot, perhaps not so much as it would be under Snyder’s direction, but the cinematography is excellent regardless, especially during the heist sequences and we get to see the interior of the vaults as Dieter is doing his safecracking job. That being said, I didn’t understand how safecracking worked before, and I still don’t understand it now.
One thing I’ve always liked about heist movies is the moral ambiguity of it all. Morally, what our central group of thieves is doing is wrong, but there’s no doubt about who we (as the audience) is supposed to be rooting for. Army of Thieves has its antagonists, this time Interpol agents who have been searching for Gwen’s team for years, and I’ve come to realize that “villainous” figures are needed for a heist movie in order for it to have any stakes. It’s very clear from the get-go how everything is going to turn out, and because of that the Interpol agents are very much secondary to the story.
It doesn’t add too much to the world of Army of the Dead (forget DC — this is the real SnyderVerse), but it acts as a fun companion piece, showing how the larger world reacted to the emerging news of the “zombie apocalypse” in Las Vegas. Archetypal and awkward but likable characters, hard action and a puzzlingly useless R-rating are what make up Army of Thieves, a bout of harmless fun in this brand-new, ever-expanding universe. Netflix may have tried to bury it, but I very much hope it gets the recognition it deserves. [Grade: A-]
Director: Matthias Schweighöfer
Writer: Shay Hatten