Movie review: Army Of The Dead
There is a lot of life in Army Of The Dead.
I will not say it is a return to form, although plenty of people out there are as rabid as the film's zombies for Zack Snyder's more ponderous, elegaic style. But it has to be said, there is an energy and a sense of – if not fun, enjoyment – to this Netflix venture, which premieres today.
This is close to the Snyder we know from his feature debut Dawn Of The Dead, way back in 2004.
As its writer, director and cinematographer, he has said Army Of The Dead is his love letter to movie-making.
He could do with a more stringent editor though.
At 148 minutes, it feels like a good half hour of set-up could be dropped.
After all, the premise is fairly straightforward – just drop the team into zombie Vegas and let it rip. Not to say it is a total bore beforehand – Snyder manages to fit an entire story into the title credits.
Once this heist of the undead gets going, it heads off like one of the fast zombies he introduced to the world 17 years ago.
Dave Bautista is as watchable as ever, a source of brutal calm amid the chaos.
We want him – and his daughter (Ella Purnell) – to get through. The rest, not so much.
You like them, like Matthias Schweighofer's naive but eager safecracker Dieter, but you know there will be blood.
There are call-backs and references peppered throughout to keep you mimicking that meme of Leonardo DiCaprio pointing throughout the entire film.
Shots look reminiscent of Dawn Of The Dead. Indeed, it is easy to imagine Garret Dillahunt's slimy company man being a direct relative of the infamously hateful character Ty Burrell played in the earlier movie.
By no means perfect, Army Of The Dead gets by on its energy, another addition to 2021's attack of killer B-movies.
Daft fun with a touch of heart and a bucket of gore.
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FILM: Army Of The Dead
STARRING: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera
WRITER-DIRECTOR: Zack Snyder
THE SKINNY: After Las Vegas becomes ground zero for a zombie outbreak, it is corralled to enclose the undead. Former mercenary Scott Ward (Bautista) is tasked to assemble a team of misfits to infiltrate Sin City and retrieve millions of dollars before the government nukes the site.
SHOWING ON: Netflix