The heist on the middle of “Military of the Lifeless,” the action-horror zombie flick Zack Snyder directed for Netflix earlier this year, wasn’t a lot of a heist in any respect — a cursory, surface-level safecracking scene that felt like a short digression from all of the violent zombie mayhem occurring round it. “Military of Thieves,” a prequel starring and directed by the “Military of the Lifeless” ensemble participant Matthias Schweighöfer, takes place within the very early days of the zombie apocalypse, and with the undead safely confined to america, the Europe-set “Thieves” is free to focus completely on heisting. In reality, this can be a heist film about heist films: Whereas it stops wanting outright parody, it’s meta within the excessive.
Heist films have a tendency after all to be related and predictable, and “Military of Thieves” leans in, very self-consciously, to the type of the style. You’ve received all the standard stuff — the meeting of the crew of consultants with extremely specialised expertise, the double-cross that’s actually a triple-cross, the plan that appears prefer it’s failed solely to end up that the failure was a part of the plan. A recent episode of “Rick and Morty” wittily summarized heist films as “60% placing a crew collectively and 40% revealing that the theft already occurred,” and that strikes the center of the issue: A winking angle doesn’t make the extraordinarily drained method any much less rote or tiresome. Regardless of the in-jokes and references (together with nods to “Level Break” and “Warmth”), the film can’t transcend its personal clichés.
Military of Thieves
Not rated. Working time: 2 hours 7 minutes. Watch on Netflix.