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Review: Navy of Thieves is a exquisite, witty, and within the fracture poignant heist thriller

Shine on, you uncommon shimmering nerd — No longer many zombies, but lots of Wagner and the return of our fave goofy nerd Ludwig Dieter. Jennifer Ouellette – Nov 5, 2021 6: 23 pm UTC The brilliantly nerdy, excessive-strung German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) modified into a highlight of Zack Snyder’s Navy of the…

Review: Navy of Thieves is a exquisite, witty, and within the fracture poignant heist thriller

Shine on, you uncommon shimmering nerd —

No longer many zombies, but lots of Wagner and the return of our fave goofy nerd Ludwig Dieter.

  • The brilliantly nerdy, excessive-strung German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) modified into a highlight of Zack Snyder’s Navy of the Needless. Now he has his personal prequel starting put story with Navy of Thieves.


  • Nathalie Emmanuel co-stars as Gwendoline, a mysterious woman who entices Dieter (aka Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert) to be a half of her for a series of heists.


  • Brad Cage (Stuart Martin) is the muscle.


  • This is “master hacker” Korina (Ruby O. Charge).


  • Meet getaway driver Rolph (Guz Khan).


  • Intepol brokers Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen) and Beatrix (Noemie Nakai) had been chasing Gwendoline and her gang of thieves.


A humble, nerdy bank teller with a secret passion for safecracking finds himself taking on the heist difficulty of a lifetime in Navy of Thieves, a prequel to Zack Snyder’s hugely intelligent Navy of the Needless, which debuted earlier this year on Netflix. Navy of Thieves is light on zombies but brings the the same sly humor and thrilling action to its story, making it a beautifully crafted intelligent romp in its personal ultimate.

(Spoilers for Navy of the Needless beneath. Largely aloof spoilers for Navy of Thieves, but while you have not viewed its predecessor, there may per chance be one critical spoiler at the head. We are going to give you a heads up after we opt up there.)

Navy of the Needless adopted Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) and his crew of mercenaries as they ventured into zombie-infested Las Vegas to get better hundreds of thousands in money from a on line casino vault. Brain-munching carnage ensued. As well to Tig Notaro’s delightfully cynical pilot and Samantha Preserve’s martial arts fireworks, viewers loved the dynamic between zombie-killing-machine Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) and the brilliantly nerdy, excessive-strung German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). No longer most spirited did the 2 forge a believable (albeit reluctant) bond, Dieter’s neatly-timed excessive-pitched screams at any time when a zombie charged modified into one of plenty of working gags. So naturally Dieter got his personal prequel. And you understand what? Schweighöfer’s standout persona deserved one.

Navy of Thieves modified into already in publish-production when Navy of the Needless debuted, having wrapped filming in Germany in December. Schweighöfer each and every stars and directs, and whereas the movie is no longer a bona fide zombie movie, it is notify within the early phases of the zombie outbreak that makes up the outlet backstory montage of Navy of the Needless. The notify “takes put in a world where these zombies exist in The united states and it is inflicting instability within the banking institutions,” Deborah Snyder knowledgeable Indie Wire. “They’re spirited money round, so it is the explain opportunity for a heist.”

Chillaxing before a heist with a game of beer pong.

Prolong / Chillaxing forward of a heist with a sport of beer pong.


As the movie opens, we be taught that Dieter modified into once Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert, a anxious, nebbishy bank teller in Potsdam with a lifelong fascination with safecracking. He follows the the same dreary daily routine and each and every at times posts movies about his passion to YouTube, all of which garner exactly zero views. However then he decides to attain a video a pair of legendary quartet of supposedly uncrackable safes modeled on Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle: the Rhinegold, the Valkyrie, the Siegfried, and the Götterdämmerung. The man who made them—a locksmith named Hans Wagner (Christian Steyer)—did so after losing his higher half and child, and chronicle holds that when he modified into completed, he locked himself inside one of his personal safes to die.

That video draws the eye of master their Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel). She’s procuring for a safecracker who can provide you the likelihood to cracking Wagner’s very no longer going safes and decides Sebastian is the man for the job, no topic his eccentricities. The remainder of the crew comprises “master hacker” Korina (Ruby O. Charge), getaway driver Rolph (Guz Khan), and the muscular Brad Cage (Stuart Martin), “our very personal are residing action hero.” Sebastian sums the total lot up neatly: “So is it love in a movie movie where each and all and sundry of us has a varied ability notify and most spirited working collectively that we can pull off that which needs the pulling off?” Yes, exactly love that.

Sebastian and Gwen find their way to the Rhinegold safe—first of four in the legendary

Prolong / Sebastian and Gwen gain their ability to the Rhinegold protected—first of four within the legendary “Wagner cycle.”


The Ring Cycle safes are for the time being owned by billionaire Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), who notify the events of Navy of the Needless in mosey. The Rhinegold is in Paris, the Valkyrie is in Prague, the Siegfried is in St. Moritz, and the Götterdämmerung is rumored to be in Las Vegas. Complicating matters is an intrepid Interpol agent named Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen), who has a deepest vendetta against Brad Cage—namely, for capturing him within the derriere on a previous job. Noemie Nakai performs Delacroix’s Interpol colleague Beatrix, who tries to rein in his worst vengeful impulses.

Schweighöfer proves to be as equally expert a director as he is an actor, clearly drawing on traditional heist motion footage love Ocean’s Eleven and The Italian Job for inspiration. There are sly nods to the tropes of the model at some stage in. As antagonistic to a couple of lagging moments, the pacing is brisk, and the purpose of interest on a series of increasingly complicated heists ensures that the stakes (and suspense) wait on rising. Quite a lot of the characters are, admittedly, no longer seriously neatly developed, apart from Gwendoline and Sebastian, but they’re colorfully distinctive and support wait on the tone light and active.

Wagner’s myth opera most for sure informs the notify, but Schweighöfer properly avoids being too glaring with the parallels. Fairly, these ingredients are woven into Sebastian’s emotional vogue over the course of the movie, as he beneficial properties a deeper conception of why Hans Wagner created these elegant safes out of his wretchedness within the first put and named them after the Ring cycle.

(WARNING: A serious spoiler for Navy of the Needless is beneath, with declare relating Navy of Thieves.)

Brad gives Gwendoline a helpful getaway hand.

Prolong / Brad offers Gwendoline a priceless getaway hand.


Schweighöfer’s deft performance performs up the persona’s goofy sweetness and social awkwardness—the excessive-pitched screams dwell a trademark—but additionally showcases the qualities that notify him apart from other expert safecrackers: a poetic nature, ravishing moments of bravery, and a extremely effective mosey of personal altruism. This shall be a movie that celebrates characters who honor artistry above filthy lucre. Sebastian is pushed by the explain of the hunt. Any money is a facet wait on.

However what about the zombies, you should per chance per chance possibly also neatly inquire? Successfully, zombies attain seem, but most spirited in recordsdata accounts playing on TV monitors within the background—and in Sebastian’s increasingly intellectual nightmares. Gwendoline dismisses them as ultimate one other facet manufacture of his naturally excessive-strung, anxious nature, but Korina speculates that the dreams may per chance well per chance per chance be prophetic. Somebody who has viewed Navy of the Needless is conscious of that Korina’s interpretation is more honest; the nightmares are a myth foreshadowing of Sebastian’s final fate.

All americans is conscious of that Sebastian will change into Ludwig Dieter and flit to The united states. All americans is conscious of that he will discontinue up being recruited by Scott Ward for one final heist: cracking the elusive Götterdämmerung, which (as Gwendoline guessed properly) is situated within the bowels of a Las Vegas on line casino now beneath the management of a horde of zombies. And we know that he will attain his quest to crack it.

Interpol on the hunt.

Prolong / Interpol on the hunt.


Alas, he does so on the price of his lifestyles, because (sniff—give me a moment) he sacrifices himself to place his new buddy Vanderohe from zombies. One scheme or the other, shimmering Sebastian’s final fate makes Navy of Thieves the total more poignant. Shine on, you uncommon, shimmering nerd.

Zack Snyder is already engaged on fleshing out the franchise. There’ll be an engaging series touchdown next year that Snyder has said will order where the new zombies got right here from. There is additionally an Navy of the Needless sequel, Planet of the Needless, in vogue. Snyder has been vague on tiny print but knowledgeable Range that “time loops,” “portals,” and “doorways to other geographical regions” will feature prominently. Does that indicate we can also survey the return of Sebastian/Dieter, Scott Ward, and the rest of the Navy of the Needless crew in some alternate incarnation? Indicators prove “per chance.” Even though we manufacture no longer, Navy of Thieves offers Ludwig Dieter the hero’s sendoff he deserves.

Itemizing image by Netflix


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