Despite its remarkable length, “Army of the Dead” is a pretty deliberate and skinny film that effectively mixes the heist genre with that of the zombie. Snyder’s co-written script has just enough new stuff in both departments, although I wish there was a bit more to the heist itself than the straight line from A to Z (ombie) and trying to come back to A again. It sometimes feels like the plot of “Army of the Dead” is just a skeleton to hang action scenes on instead of something inherently clever in itself. I was always waiting for a twist or surprise that never really came.
It would also have helped make up for the lack of inventiveness in the story with more interesting characters, but these are incredibly shallow, even for the ‘zombie action’ genre. You could completely define almost all the characters in the movie with a maximum of three words. For example, Ward is a father, a leader and a soldier, and that’s all everyone knows about him. Bautista, a charismatic and underrated actor, struggles to make it feel three-dimensional, but he does better than De la Reguera or Hardwick, who have almost no character at all. This is one of those movies where the supporting actors steal the attention of the direct actors just because they energize the movie, especially Dillahunt, Schweighöfer, and Arnezeder, who are all excellent. But why not give it a helping hand and give everyone a little bit of personality? Some of the zombies here have more depth of character than the humans, for Romero’s sake.
It also feels like Snyder is playing around with political and topical themes without having much to say about any of them. Walls that separate people to the point that the team needs a coyote to get into an American city? It’s inherently topical given the hot buttons it presses, and it’s impossible not to stare at someone checking the temperature and think about the current state of the world (even s ‘there is no way Snyder could have predicted this reality). The problem is, they don’t add up to much. These are flavors rather than actual ideas, and it’s downright anti-Romero given how ready the Master was to tackle themes like dead-eyed consumerism and the military-industrial complex in movies like “Dawn of the Dead “and” Day of le mort. ” It’s not that “Army of the Dead” necessarily needed these elements to work, but there’s something frustrating about teasing them about this story just so they don’t really go anywhere.