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Starring: Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Guz Khan, Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Jonathan Cohen, Noemie Nakai, Peter Simonischek, John Bubniak
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Action comedy heist prequel directed by Matthias Schweighöfer. Set six years before the events of Army of the Dead, during the beginning stages of the zombie outbreak, Army of Thieves (2021) centers on Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) in his early days of safecracking as he is hired by a mysterious woman, Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel), to pull off a heist across Europe with the help of a misfit crew of aspiring thieves.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Always be prepared.' - Gwendoline (Army of Thieves) Click To Tweet
Dieter: Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Munich. Far away, that is, if you’re one of my international friends. There was an old brick building on the edge of the city. The building was the factory of a respectable locksmith named Hans Wagner. He was once a hard-working family man, a pillar of the community, until his wife and son died tragically.
Dieter: In his waning years, his greatest work truly began. A series of four safes, one for each opera of Richard Wagner’s legendary Ring cycle, comprised of four epic operas, with roots in Norse mythology. The four safes being, Das Rheingold. Die Walküre, or The Valkyrie. The Siegfried. And finally, the Götterdämmerung, also known as the Twilight of the Gods.
Dieter: To Hans Wagner, a lock, a safe, were puzzles. Puzzles that could only be solved by those truly worthy of the secrets they guarded. Legend has it, if you attempt to crack the locks by force, the contents will be incinerated, and they will lock forever.
Dieter: But Hans’s work did not end with the Ring cycle. He had one more safe to build. The safe his whole life had been leading to, capable of containing all his anguish and misery, locking it away for good. People tried to liberate Wagner from the tomb he had built for himself, but his work was pure enough that they could not. The safe that Wagner died in was never opened. It served as his tomb and was dropped into the ocean with his body still inside.
Dieter: The Rheingold, the Valkyrie, and the Siegfried are all rumored to still be in circulation. Their locations remain one of the greatest mysteries of the safecracking world. As for the Götterdämmerung, no one knows what became of it.
Dieter: [in German] Time to start another boring day.
Dieter: [referring to Gwendoline] That was when I first saw her. The woman I would come to know as Gwendoline. The woman who would change my life.
Dieter: You were at the strange house last night.
Gwendoline: Sebastian, I am the reason you were there last night.
Dieter: Oh, my God. You were my one view on YouTube, weren’t you?
Gwendoline: That’s right. And may I say, what a shame that is. Your videos are damn fine, Sebastian.
Dieter: But, permit me to ask then, who are you?
Gwendoline: I am the woman who is going to change your life. Forever.
Gwendoline: Did you just say “gulp”?
Dieter: Yes. I said it, and I did it. Yes.
Gwendoline: You wish to know who I am. You wish to know how I knew you were going to be in this cafe, at this time, on this morning.
Dieter: I would like to know all of those things, yes.
Gwendoline: I know those things because I’ve been watching you.
Gwendoline: [to Dieter] I am an internationally wanted jewelry thief, and I belong to a crew that executes international bank heists. And I want to recruit you.
Dieter: Am I being spunked?
Gwendoline: Spunked? What do you mean?
Dieter: You know what I mean. Spunked.
Gwendoline: Do you mean “punked”? No, you’re not being punked, or spunked. This is real.
Dieter: But why me? I am no criminal.
Gwendoline: Because the next job we intend to take on, you are the only one who can pull it off.
Gwendoline: I think you’re the man for the job.
Gwendoline: Please stop saying “gulp”.
Dieter: I’m nervous.
Gwendoline: It’s okay if you do it. But saying it is incredibly stupid.
Gwendoline: The outbreak in America, you’re familiar?
Dieter: Yes, I heard something about it.
Gwendoline: In ninety-sixt hours, the owner of the Wagner safes will be transferring them to a vault in Geneva, where they will be decommissioned. The puzzle that Wagner spent his life developing will be destroyed. This is our last chance to solve it.
Dieter: So you’re saying, in a span of four days, we execute a series of not one, not two, but three international heists, and we drive off into the setting sun?
Gwendoline: That is exactly what I’m saying.
Gwendoline: Listen to me, Sebastian. Look around. The world’s f***ed. This window of opportunity isn’t just our only chance, it’s yours.
Dieter: My only chance, for what?
Gwendoline: A life less ordinary. Sleep on it. You’ll find me here. We could have fun together, you and I.
Dieter: Oh, wow. That’s a lot of kitties.
Gwendoline: We needed the most inconspicuous place possible to stage our planning operations. Somewhere they wouldn’t suspect, couldn’t track us. Korina found a flyer on a telephone pole for an old lady who would pay us in cash to cat-sit for a week. We’re off-the-grid.
Dieter: But we’re on the cat grid.
Rolph: Getaway driver to the stars. The fastest there is. Nobody. When I say nobody, I mean nobody knows their way around an engine better than me. I’m gone in fifty seconds. Mr. Nicolas Cage, eat your heart out, baby. You understand what I say when I say what I’m saying?
'In order to understand a work, you must engage with it.' - Dieter (Army of Thieves) Click To Tweet
Gwendoline: And last but not least, our very own real life action hero. Mr. Brad Cage.
Brad: Hey. I’m Brad. Leader of this little band of misfits.
Korina: Leader. Or so he fancies himself.
Brad: Well, if you were me, you’d fancy yourself too.
Dieter: So, is it like in a movie film, where each one of us has a different skillset, and it’s only working together that we can pull off that which needs the pulling off?
Gwendoline: Yes. It’s exactly like that.
Gwendoline: Everyone, meet Sebastian, unpronounceable last name. Safecracker extraordinaire. Has a lifetime of theoretical expertise. But he has never applied his skills in real life. Until now, that is.
Brad: Frankly, I’m not sure why we’re bothering.
Gwendoline: Because it’s not just about the money, Brad. It’s about the quest.
Korina: All of the Wagner safes are under the ownership of infamous billionaire, Bly Tanaka.
Brad: A man whose money we most certainly do not wish to be caught stealing.
Gwendoline: Any questions?
Dieter: Yes. Many. Hundreds.
Dieter: You didn’t tell me that we have guns.
Gwendoline: [referring to Brad] Don’t worry, I don’t actually let him load it anymore. He thinks it makes him look cool.
Korina: [referring to Dieter] What’s wrong with him? Why is he freaking out?
Dieter: Perhaps because we’re about to do the robbing of a bank!
Korina: It’s not a bank, it’s a credit union.
Dieter: What’s the difference?
Korina: It’s a bank for children.
Dieter: Why would there be a bank specifically for kids? Huh? Tell me.
Gwendoline: Okay, she means it’s child’s play.
Gwendoline: Remember, we said we are carrying out the heist in order of difficulty.
Dieter: Yeah, you’re right. Okay. So they get more dangerous, and more exciting with each subsequent one. F***.
Brad: No, it’s so that if we get caught in the next ones, we already have some money stashed away for when we get out of the joint.
Brad: You know how sometimes in a heist movie, they show flash-forward of how the heist should work?
Gwendoline: And it never goes according to plan, and everything gets messed up in some way.
Dieter: Yes, I do know this.
Brad: Well, this one is actually going to go that smoothly.
Gwendoline: We have scoped out the location, and found people go into the bank all the time exclusively to take s**ts.