N.o People will scream that Zack Snyder’s vision is being ruined by a sub-par studio hatchet job. With his latest film, the Netflix original “Army of the Dead”, Snyder returns to his roots and delivers a bloody, action-packed, but overly long zombie film, the “Ocean’s 11” and “Dawn of the Dead” with hefty cans mixes from Canon Building, which Snyder focuses far too much on.
The premise is pretty simple and it takes 10 minutes to present to the audience. A government experiment is being moved from Area-51 to another location in the Nevada desert.
When the truck with the payload is hit by a car and abandons the experiment, it turns out to be a starved zombie who will bite and twist all of the military escort given to it.
Then they have the bright lights of Las Vegas in their sights and through a surprisingly fun and informative montage we see the whole city transform into walking dead, and survivors compassionate every brain-dead thing that gets in their way.
We are looking forward and the government has walled the city with plans to drop a nuclear weapon on it and destroy any remaining zombies within the borders.
Fearing the loss of millions of dollars imprisoned in his casino, businessman Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) hires one of the surviving mercenaries, Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), to assemble a crew to retrieve him with the promise of a large payout Completion.
Meet his old teammates Maria and Vanderhoe (Ana de la Reguera and Omari Hardwick) as well as his daughter Kate (Ella Purnell) and some newcomers, including a sniper and his partner, a safe cracker, a helicopter pilot and Tanaka’s assistant (Raul Castillo, Samantha ) Victory, Matthias Schweighöfer, Tig Notaro, Garret Dillahunt).
When they arrive at the construction site, a smuggler named Coyote (Nora Arnezeder) leads them inside and introduces them and the audience to the concept of different types of zombies that live here, including a group called Alphas, an intelligent variety who bite when they bite by the The original zombie Zeus (Richard Cetrone) grants them a safe passage in return for a victim of one of the perverted guards of the quarantine camp.
As the crew makes their way to the safe, classic, slow zombies, they lie on their way and sabotage within their own ranks.
There’s a lot more storyline than you can imagine in a review because that seems to be Snyder’s MO lately, and much of it becomes unnecessary thanks to the co-writer / director’s obsession (Shay Hatten and Joby Harold share the script) lengthy with plot details and slow motion action shots.
The script itself is complex, but riddled with poor rendering that leads to more than one twisted eye. If the dialogue is good, it will likely be given to an actor who can’t handle the timing that will really make him gel.
It wants to be both a fun / quirky movie and a serious action movie, but it never strikes a good balance between them.
Side note: any movie that has to fire an actor for criminal activity or inappropriateness should only cast CGI Tig Notaro in the role.
Other than that, it’s a fun, disrespectful movie overall.
The cinematography is really beautiful and there are non-verbal moments that work so well (although I’m not sure the subplot, knowing the pros and cons of the Alpha Army was absolutely necessary). It’s zombies and blood and blood and there’s a damn zombie tiger!
And you can’t help but chuckle when Notaro calls: “Was that a g —- n zombie in a cloak ?!” Oh yeah, there’s a zombie in a cloak too.