Netflix's Army of Thieves now has its official Rotten Tomatoes score, which sits at 69% (Fresh) at the time of writing this. A lot of eyes are on Army of Thieves, as it is an interesting little experiment - a prequel (interquel?) to Zack Snyder's action-horror Netflix film Army of the Dead. Snyder and Netflix have already made something of a sizeable commitment to getting this larger Army of the Dead universe off the ground, and that means making features like Army of Thieves into attractive features for Netflix subscribers, who will (Netflix hopes) begin to naturally embrace this new type of blockbuster franchise model on streaming.
In terms of critical reviews, The Wrap says that Army of Thieves is a "by-the-numbers heist movie and prequel to Zack Snyder's gloomy zombie caper "Army of the Dead," traces over that previous movie without ever improving or even just replicating its lighter elements, especially its chases and safecracking shenanigans... lots of moving parts that inexplicably move viewers towards a foregone conclusion without ever really delivering something worth remembering."
Globe and Mail says that watching Army of Thieves is all about context: "If you squint hard and focus most of your mental energy on folding your laundry, yeah, Army of Thieves is kinda cool. But it's also kinda bland, kinda formulaic, and kinda sad."
Meanwhile, Variety appreciates the Netflix blockbuster brand for what it is - even if the subject matter isn't that thrilling: "Army of Thieves is one of those bombastically blithe and fanciful Netflix action movies, in this case with a romantic heart....the movie points its way to the zombie apocalypse in Vegas, and to the temptation that awaits there... If you saw "Army of the Dead," you know what happens next. But compared to that movie, this one feels like a Batman prequel devoted entirely to Robin."
Finally, THR praises the technical work and style that director Matthias Schweighofer put into the film: "In terms of craft, the film benefits from typically polished German production values, particularly DP Bernhard Jasper's agile camerawork and bold use of saturated color. This is a handsome film, and although the script isn't completely airtight and some of the comedy is a tad broad, its sparky sense of fun keeps things ticking along until a coda that connects the story directly to Army of the Dead. Even if this prequel is tonally quite different and abandons the gore, fans of the first film should find it a diverting addition."
Army of Thieves will stream on Netflix on October 29th.