By Gabriela Gutierrez
An adaptation of “Army of the Dead,” Netflix’s release of “Army of Thieves” delivers a story fit to give viewers a fun film to watch.
The film circles around the life of safe-cracker, Ludwig Dieter, whose real name in the film is Sebastian Schlencht-Wohrnet and is played by Matthias Schweighofer.
The film is entertaining and captivating overall.
It’s flaws are small and thankfully do not detract from the message and storyline.
One flaw is the way the zombies are incorporated abruptly and casually throughout the film. Regardless, viewers don’t need to watch “Army of the Dead” to enjoy Dieter’s charisma and his strange passion for cracking safes.
As a prequel to “Army of the Dead,” the film successfully gives the backstory to Schweighofer’s character and how he became Ludwig Dieter.
In “Army of Thieves,” Dieter is a bank teller who lives a routine life with little-to-no excitement.
Obsessed with cracking safes like they are puzzles, Dieter posts videos about safes on his YouTube channel.
His channel has no success. One night Dieter finds one single comment inviting him to “put his skills to the test.”
He goes to the location written in the comment and finds himself at a safecracking competition where he is one of six contestants.
The next day he is met by the mystery woman who commented on his video and invited him to the competition. She named Gwendoline Starr played by Nathalie Emmanuel.
It is there where she tells Dieter about her plan to crack three of the four safes created by Richard Wagner, a man whose name and story became part of a legend detailing the history of each safe.
Using Dieter’s passion for safecracking and the history of safes in her favor, Starr convinces Dieter to attempt to crack three of the four safes. The safes are used in three separate banks safe-keeping millions of dollars.
The fourth safe, according to Starr, is possibly in Nevada where the zombie numbers are the highest.
All the while, Nevada is being plagued by zombies, setting up the storyline in accordance with the sequel.
The film’s take on Dieter’s life allows viewers to further understand his strange, awkward, dorky character seen in “Army of the Dead.” This adds a new dimension to him.
Schweighofer is an accomplished actor in Germany, but his roles in “Army of the Dead,” and “Army of Thieves” are his first big roles in America. Director of “Army of the Dead,” Zack Snyder said that he and his team had a hard time finding the right person to play Ludwig Dieter.
Now it is difficult to picture Ludwig Dieter as anyone but Schweighofer, who plays the role like it was made for him.
Dieter is naive to-a-fault. He believes the best of himself and almost by default seems to believe the best in others.
He comes to trust Starr and the rest of her team of misfit thieves, but it is his relationship with Starr that dominates the screen.
The film, scored by Hans Zimmer, contains predominantly German music.
The music choice works because the film takes place throughout Europe but is filmed mainly in Germany and in the Czech Republic.
It also adds to the odd charm of Dieter and the adrenaline he feels being with a team of thieves. This team goes completely against the lifestyle he has known all his life.
The film was released on Oct. 29, five months after “Army of the Dead.” Both films are currently streaming on Netflix.