The Classic Action Movies That Helped Stuart Martin Prepare For Army Of Thieves In Lockdown

Not every movie has a character described as “if Brad PItt and Nic Cage fucked, and had a hotter baby.” However, that’s exactly the description given when we meet Stuart Martin’s Brad Cage, the hot head/wild card in Netflix’s Army of Thieves. It’s not an easy mantle to live up to, but the Scottish actor’s approach is as flawless as his American accent; which is partially thanks to his binging of classic American action films. 

Speaking with Stuart Martin during the Army of Thieves junket, it was clear that playing a character who is in love with the movies of Nicholas Cage and his ilk was an absolute blast. And that fun wasn’t limited to living that role on set for co-star/director Matthias Schweighöfer’s prequel to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. As Martin told me in our interview, the research phase was just as fun, as he got to revisit some old favorites: 

Well, we were in lockdown, so, I mean, that was my research. Just going back through old American, ‘90s, ‘00s films and just like falling in love with them again. I did Point Break and Face/Off, and all that.

The Point Break influence is definitely felt in Army of Thieves, to the point where it’s blatantly built into Stuart Martin’s character. During one of the three heists that Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) and his new friends embark in, there’s a need for a distraction to buy some time. So what does Brad Cage, the resident wild card, do? Put on a very presidential looking mask and start to make some noise inside of the bank that’s being robbed. 

As one of the pre-existing team members in Army of Thieves, Brad Cage is rather close to Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel), the leader of the pack. Though in true action hero fashion, Stuart Martin’s character proclaims himself the man in charge, and that sort of attitude shows throughout the film. It’s an air of seriousness that only made Martin admit he was even happier to play what is essentially the alpha male from a film like Point Break (opens in new tab), as you’ll read below: 

He’s great, man. It’s just such a joy to be able to play a character who, instantly, from the minute we introduce him as what he is, we just go, ‘Oh, he’s made it up.’ There’s such joy in that. You’ve taken the piss out of him, you’re poking fun at him; which allows you to push it really far in how much kind of, what he thinks of himself. It’s great fun there, so I loved that part.

Make no mistake, Brad Cage pushes the boundaries with his Army of Thieves cohorts. But as was pointed out above, that’s not even the character’s real name. Tying somewhat into the origins of Ludwig Dieter’s safecracking alias from Army of the Dead, Stuart Martin’s character gave himself the name he needed to be his best thieving self. What he does with it, versus what Dieter does in his own life, is a contrast that leads to some friction in this European road trip of criminal intent. 

Meanwhile, Stuart Martin, the Scottish charmer that he is, was just delighted to get to bring this badass to life. It certainly helped that the Point Break mask reference made his day when getting to do so. Should there be any Army of Thieves sequels, or any other potential appearances of Brad Cage down the line in the Army of the Dead franchise’s future, who knows what the next tip of the hat will entail? But you can bet that Mr. Martin will be queuing up some old favorites to get into character. 

Should you be looking to break the bank with Brad Cage and the rest of the Army of Thieves team, that film is currently available on Netflix (opens in new tab) for your streaming pleasure. And don’t forget, if you’ve seen it before, or if this movie is your entry into Zack Snyder’s zombie apocalypse, Army of the Dead is also available to stream as well. But if you’re looking for what’s new and exciting in the world of Netflix movies, take a look at the 2021 release schedule that focuses solely on original films debuting on this very platform. It’d be a crime not to.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.