Army of Thieves: A story of Zombies | Sunday Observer

Army of Thieves: A story of Zombies

19 December, 2021

Army of Thieves is a 2021 heist comedy film directed by Matthias Schweighöfer from a screenplay by Shay Hatten, based on a story he wrote with Zack Snyder. A prequel to Army of the Dead, it is the second installment in the Army of the Dead franchise; the film stars Schweighöfer, who reprises his role as Ludwig Dieter, alongside a supporting cast that includes Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, and Jonathan Cohen.

Filming began in Germany and the Czech Republic in October 2020, and concluded by December 2020. Army of Thieves was digitally released on October 29, 2021, on Netflix. It received mixed reviews from critics.

Making of the movie

In September 2020, it was announced that the film, then known as ‘Army of the Dead: The Prequel’, was in development at Netflix. Filming took place in Germany and the Czech Republic, and finished in December 2020. In a February 2021 interview, Deborah Snyder referred to the film as ‘Army of Thieves’.

That same month, ‘Army of the Dead’ composer Tom Holkenborg confirmed that he would be working on both the prequel and the tie-in animated series ‘Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas’.

In April 2021, Zack Snyder confirmed the official title. In August 2021, Matthias Schweighöfer announced on Twitter that Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro will serve as composers for the film with Holkenborg contributing.

In May 2021, Deborah Snyder described the film as similar to ‘The Italian Job’ in a world where zombies exist, while explaining that the film is standalone in nature. The producer classified the genre as a romantic comedy heist film that canonically depicts the early stages of the zombie pandemic portrayed in the previous film; stating: “…takes place in a world where these zombies exist in America and it’s causing instability in the banking institutions.

They’re moving money around, so it’s the perfect opportunity for a heist.” The plot will center around Schweighöfer’s character Ludwig Dieter, showing how he learned to crack safes with previous heist teams. Schweighöfer acknowledged that while the movie isn’t categorically a zombie film, the filmmaker teased that the undead may appear; while Snyder confirmed that there will be zombies in the film.

Critical response

On ‘Rotten Tomatoes’, 69% of 91 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.00/10.

The website’s critics consensus reads: “Army of Thieves doesn’t reinvent the heist thriller, but director-star Matthias Schweighöfer proves an appealing presence on both sides of the camera.” On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.

David Rooney of ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ wrote: “The storytelling overall is less sophisticated, leaning a little too often on strained humor, but this is a slick, enjoyably playful entertainment.”[18] Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave the film a mixed review and called it “one of those bombastically blithe and fanciful Netflix action movies, in this case with a romantic heart”.[


‘Army of Thieves’ ranked at the top of Netflix’s top 10 weekly rankings for English-language films, based on its recently-launched method of ranking TV shows and films by the total amount of hours they are viewed, during its debut week with a viewership of 49.64 million hours. It also ranked first on Netflix in more than 90 countries.

Samba TV estimated that the film was watched by 770,000 households in the United States. It was also the third most-watched film overall in the United States during the week according to TV Time. Nielsen meanwhile ranked it as the fourth-most-streamed film for the week with 294 million minutes viewed.

It remained the most-watched film on Netflix in its second week with 71.61 million hours viewed, while also rising to the second position on TV Time’s chart. Nielsen also reported that it was the second-most-streamed film during the week, with 456 million minutes viewed.

It was ranked fourth on Netflix in its third week with 20.56 million hours viewed, and seventh in the fourth week with 12.26 million hours.