Army Of The Dead movie rating: 3.5 / 5 stars (three stars)
Featured actors: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, Garret Dillahunt
Director: Zack Snyder
What is good: It’s a world you must have been in before, but Snyder’s vision intrigues you with too many surprises
What is bad: It does what it promises and that’s what makes it a predictable deal at times
Loo break: Yes. Duration demands it!
Watch or not ?: It’s fun if you’re ok with a huge amount of bloodshed
Organization in Las Vegas called ‘Mothership’ deploys cargo of something ‘unknown’ from Army-protected Area 51, but collides with car in which guy is shown driving of getting sucked off by her recently married fiance (just Zack Snyder stuff). The Unknown Cargo is a zombie on steroids that kills the army and turns them into… yes, you guessed it right… blood-sucking monsters, strangely walking, disgusting growling. They attack Las Vegas, turning the whole city into Zombieland.
A casino owner, Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), offers a mercenary, survivor Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), to return to Zombieland and earn $ 250 million, offering him a huge share. Scott hunts his “army of the dead” along with those who survived the zombie attack in Las Vegas. He’s got a muscular man, a nerd locksmith, a desperate pilot, a sexy wife for the romantic angle, and his daughter for the emotional arc. They all get together, go there, take on different kinds of zombies, but how many of them will come back? This is the story!
Army Of The Dead movie review: scenario analysis
This is Zack Snyder’s idea of Zombie-Dothraki leading an army of White-Walkers but in the world of Mad Max. Sounds heavy, right? Feels heavy, too, due to the dragged duration of around 148 minutes. Snyder essentially crushes every Zombie movie in his history, but still manages to create an insanely cool by-product. The base plot is deviously similar to Yeon Sang-ho Peninsula (the sequel to Train To Busan), but Synder makes sure to fill it with plenty of blood with every scene possible.
We’ve been abusing zombies for years to make apocalypse stories cooler, but are we done with them? Well no! Zombies will always be cool and that’s Snyder’s way of showing how he envisions them. These are not your routine zombies all the same, and they have groups – Shamblers & Alphas. They have a king (a zombie Khal Drogo) and a queen (no, not Khaleesi). Snyder’s zombies hibernate; they make a disgusting baby zombie only in April from Parks & Recreation would love it. That and Snyder’s script with Shay Hatten, that of Joby Harold, makes this one stand out from the many similar movies we’ve seen. The storyline gloriously designs the world of these ultra-cool creatures ruling over an abandoned kingdom, and yes, parts of it will remind you of the Mad Max model.
The pregnant zombies didn’t shock me as much as knowing that the director of photography for the film is Zack Snyder HIMSELF. This is his first time handling a camera for a feature film, and not for a second, it was like that. Are directors a DOP of their own films? I mean, he’s the guy responsible for restoring the fans’ hopes in DC; he could do it.
Aside from very dark processing (so dark that it will deteriorate your viewing experience if you’re in a well-lit room), the cinematography holds your attention, keeping you intrigued even for monotonous footage. Snyder brings back one of the Justice League’s editors, Dody Dorn, to slice the dough, keeping parts juicy. The 150-minute timeline here seems dragged down from the 240 minutes the director-editor duo requested for Justice League.
Army Of The Dead Movie Review: Star Performance
Dave Bautista is too lazy for anything like this. It was so much in the stadium for someone like Dwayne Johnson or even a Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Will Smith. I have tried with a positive approach to take the “laid back attitude” as his character trait, but it doesn’t help. He looks too indifferent for someone to carry such a megaproject. Ella Purnell as Scott’s baby Kate successfully fills the emotional void viewers would have with the father-daughter couple.
Omari Hardwick’s Vanderohe gets interesting by teaming up with Matthias Schweighöfer’s Dieter. The jokes and the friendship between them remain the only fun part (aside from an easy to understand joke). Ana de la Reguera subtly matches the “goth” elements of her character Maria. Geeta, a delightful Huma Qureshi, falls under the knife of poor handwriting, serving nothing to hold onto, and so does Nora Arnezeder’s Lily.
Army Of The Dead movie review: Direction, Music
It’s a perfect route for Zack Snyder after Justice League as it’s unlike anything he’s attempted before. It sticks to the traditional formula but also adds its quirks, like showing off a zombie tiger that looks terribly awesome.
It adds humor, but it’s not enough. When he chose to go R-Rated (showing women running topless for a single scene), why not make it a crazy adult zomedy with all the elements you already have? I understand the “serious” approach, but even their lack of clarity on social commentary. Snyder puts this in a very safe area, which shouldn’t have been the case. The film ends with an open ending and hope that Snyder finally goes all the way in the next one (involving Mexico).
It’s a triplet of dope soundtracks for Junkie XL, aka Tom Holkenborg, this year; it started with Justice League: Snyder Cut, continued with Godzilla vs Kong, and here we are again with this one. He brings in Richard Cheese and Allison Crowe to play Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas; he uses Zombie from The Cranberries to add a muted background score.
Army Of The Dead Movie Review: The Last Word
All is said and done; Zack Snyder has everything old and new in this visually appealing and bloody zombie drama. There is something for everyone and it could have been a watch explosion on an IMAX screen. A word of advice: watch this madness on the biggest screen possible!
Three and a half stars!
Army of the Dead Trailer
Army of the dead releases MAY 21, 2021.
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