If you watched Zach Snyder’s Zombie Heist movie, Army of the Dead, you were introduced to the character of Sebastian, aka Ludwig Dieter. The character was certainly not a standout in that film, and if you were like me, and heard that a prequel starring him, you said to yourself… huh? But hold on. Because this quirky character gets his time in the spotlight, and with that spotlight, he actually becomes lovable.
Written by Zack Snyder and story by Shay Hatten, this movie highly benefits by the fact that Zach Snyder DID NOT direct this, but is directed by Matthias Schweighöfer.
A prequel, set before the events of Army of the Dead, which focuses on German safecracker Sebastian joining a group of thieves on a top secret heist during the early stages of the zombie apocalypse.
The cast is great, headed by Matthias Schweighöfer as Sebastian, a goofy guy with a boring job, who just so happens to be one of the world’s greatest safe crackers, due to the fact that he was bullied as a kid and took up the hobby of safe cracking since a child.
This trope of a man that can crack safes just by putting his ear to the side of a safe is interesting at first, due to the POV of the camera going through the safe interior and seeing the gears wind and snap into place. However, this becomes tiresome by the films end.
Sebastian is tasked to open 3 safes, all made by a famous safe-maker. Each safe tells its own story, each quite interesting, but each becoming less interesting as the movie goes on.
However, the character of Sebastian is fleshed out enough, that you tend to fall in love with him, even if the actor’s performance is, at times, over the top.
Nathalie Emmanuel (of Game of Thrones) plays Gwendoline Starr, the leader of the team, and the grounding force. At times, she is pure joy on the screen and effervescent.
Stuart Martin plays the “mini Wolverine” of the team and Korina Dominguez plays the “sexy” hacker. These characters are cardboard cut-outs to be sure, but based on the overall feel of this film, they fit right in to the absurdity.
This is a classic Saturday Matinee heist film, and that’s how you should watch it. Grab yourself a blanket, cuddle up on the couch on a weekend afternoon, and enjoy this mindless romp. Thumbs up for me.