Army of the Dead Movie Review & Summary: Slick and Slow-Witted

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Video Source – Netflix (Netflix YouTube Channel)

Army of The Dead is the latest, Zombie offering by Zack Snyder and it stars Dave Bautista. At the end, it amounts to nothing, but there’s a lot of fun to be had in this ride. 

Army of the Dead Movie Plot

After a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble by venturing into the quarantine zone for the greatest heist ever.

Army of the Dead Movie Cast

  • Dave Bautista as Scott
  • Ella Purnell as Kate Ward
  • Tig Notaro as Marianne 
  • Huma Qureshi as Geeta

Army of the Dead Movie Review

Army of The Dead is deliriously fun. It might have the cringiest emotional scenes, but when it comes to action and imagery, Zack Snyder is one of the very few who still has an individualistic style in the genre. It’s so mesmerizing and oozing with colours and grandeur, that even the darkness of the frame makes sense in the movie (Unlike BvS). The Banter between the actors is fine as long as there’s no forced emotional arc, which unfortunately the film is filled to the absolute brim with. It’s something you have to become used to when you are watching something Snyder, and I for one did that and had an absolute blast while watching Army of The Dead, even with it’s ridiculously long runtime. 

It revolves around a Restaurant Worker, Scott (Dave Bautista) who served his previous years fighting the zombies in Las Vegas and saving those who needed help. He wasn’t alone and had a crew of people like Maria (Ana de la Regeura) and Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) fighting alongside him. Years later, when they have finally barred the entire city of Las Vegas with logistic containers, Scott receives a brand new mission from a shady Japanese mafia guy called Hunter Bly, played by Hollywood’s go to Japanese guy, Hiroyuki Sanada. The mission is a sure shot suicide which involves Scott gathering a team to rob a Casino off 200 million dollars. It is a sure shot suicide, yes, but Scott has no problem whatsoever gathering a team, without any persuasion, maybe except that one guy who knew better and sailed out of the warehouse with his convertible. To him I say Bravo, because this mission is sure filled with a lot of blood and over the top gory moments. 

Army of the Dead Movie: Everyone’s a Blood Bag

The biggest and the most entertaining aspect of Army of The Dead has to be its well shot action set pieces. The movie is slow and spends a lot of time setting up unnecessary and borderline cringey family drama stories which really take away from the meat of the movie. But when the actual heist comes into the picture, it is glorious. The wild frenzy of bullets and blood makes your eyes pop. Each bullet, no matter the gun it is fired from, carries an undeniable weight which causes heads to explode in the most brutally satisfying manner.

The explosions actually feel like explosions because bodies are literally cut in half with the slightest of stabs. There’s a slow motion sequence with a rolling hot machine gun spraying bullets at zombies, and you can see their bodies turning to molten flesh with each bullet. I know Snyder gets a lot of shit for enforcing slow motion in every second shot, but when it works, it works beautifully. There’s something about that style of his which isn’t acquired taste, it’s rather repetitive, hit or miss, and sometimes, bound to be impactful. 

In a still from Army of the Dead Movie

Army of the Dead Movie: A Guitar Solo Indicative of an Annoying, Senseless Emotional Scene

The score was, alright I guess. More than the score, the songs used in the movie were, again, mostly fine with a few exceptions which really felt like they didn’t fit the scene they accompanied. And now to the biggest problem I had with this movie. Its character development. I mean, even for a movie by Snyder, no character moments are supposed to be this freaking awkward. First off, the guitar solo which randomly starts playing in the slightest of emotional scene is as hilarious as a woman randomly confessing her love in the middle of a nuclear countdown, with no prior development whatsoever. I get what the script is trying to do, and with some indication it might have even worked, but there’s too little in this movie which makes sense and that in turn clouds the stuff which actually could have been executed better. I let out a nasty laugh when a certain person dies just after proposing, its as if the zombies took it upon themselves to fix the broken characters, by actually breaking them. I will repeat, the biggest enemy of this movie is that guitar solo and the fact that I have even stopped picking out the flaws seriously is a testament to how seriously the script of Army of the Dead handles its character arcs.

Now the most fun I had in Army of The Dead, has to be the last 30 minutes of the movie when they the entire heist turns itself upside down. With a beautifully rendered white zombie tiger playing and feasting on one of the most annoying characters in the movie to the massive hunk of a man, Dave Bautista, absolutely smashing an Alpha zombie through a wall. It gets so ridiculously wild in its final act that it almost pays for each and everything which was so hilariously bad about it. There’s a bloodbath I would happily see myself going back to. The Imagery in the overall movie is something to give credit for. The wide shots are beautiful, even though they are so blatantly digital. Snyder has never shied away from using CGI to the brim, and never has he used CGI more than in this movie. The zombies and the actual character design is filled with detail and a hint of uniqueness. Not a whole lot of it, but a hint does the trick. I still don’t understand what the hell that climax meant. It maybe sets up the upcoming movie, but its just so out of character that even if it is a setup, it’s a bad one at that. Watch Army of The Dead for its slick action and breath-taking imagery, because that’s what Snyder does best, and the other stuff, well, let’s not talk about that, shall we?

Army of the Dead Movie Critical Reception

Army of the Dead stands at 70% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus being, “An ambitious, over-the-top zombie heist mashup, Army of the Dead brings Zack Snyder back to his genre roots with a suitably gory splash.” It has a Metascore of 57.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Its good, ridiculously dumb but good. Also to our Indian audience, did I mention there’s Huma Qureshi in this movie. Yeah her character adds absolutely nothing so if you are planning to watch this for her, then you have been warned. In all seriousness, Army of The Dead either takes itself too seriously or it just doesn’t give a crap. There’s no in between. Take it or Leave it. Army of the Dead is available on Netflix to watch.

Author

  • Hardik is a Mumbai based writer who is a cinephile. Nothing interests him more than movies and visual entertainment. His other hobbies include reading and singing (At least, he likes to think that he sings well). You can connect with him on his Instagram.