After the success of his Justice League cut, Zack Snyder is back with a violent, all-guns-blazing, straight-to-Netflix zombie flick. It is clear that Snyder is in his comfort zone, as Army of the Dead provides 148 minutes of dumb fun, awesome kills and a killer soundtrack to match.
Written by Becca Johnson
In terms of the cast, everybody gives their all. Dave Bautista is fantastic in the lead role, his character having many kick-ass traits as well as a lot of heart. He has a very difficult relationship with his daughter Kate (played by Ella Purnell), after he had to murder his wife in front of her due to her becoming infected. Omari Hardwick excels in his role as Vanderohe, who mentors and befriends comedic relief character Ludwig Dieter, portrayed excellently by Matthias Schweighofer. The rag-tag group have decent chemistry, and every actor brings distinct characteristics and unique personality to the table. Tig Notaro and Ana de la Reguera also give notable performances, and everyone seems to have so much fun.
In true Snyder fashion, the movie has a pretty long run-time, yet every moment is utilised. The plot is part money heist and part zombie flick, meaning the stakes are always incredibly high and there is always something to play for, whether it's two million dollars or your life. It is full to the brim with action, is always entertaining and never provides a dull moment. On the flip-side, it has a tremendous amount of heart and even has a go at giving some female empowerment among its social commentary about hierarchies entrenched by the US government. It truly has everything, and though this can sometimes feel overwhelming, it is undeniably a blast.
Army of the Dead is set in Las Vegas, and even though its setting is pretty deserted and overruled by zombies, the movie is packed with colour and looks great. Snyder once again features his very intimate cinematography which is often like marmite for the film community, yet in this instant it works tremendously well with its dream-like approach. The soundtrack matches the tone of the movie perfectly, obviously including 'Zombie' by The Cranberries and Elvis renditions aplenty. The practical and digital effects as well as the gore were clearly over the top but superbly done, turning this into an entertainingly fun bloodbath.
Army of the Dead is receiving mixed reviews, ending up in film fans best and worst movie of the year line-ups. However, Snyder has provided one of the best Netflix Originals of the year, and easily the best action flick thus far. It has equal amounts of emotion and bloodshed, the cast are on point, the humour is hilarious and both the setting and the plot are undoubtedly unique. Some scenes often felt a little elongated and out of place, but overall, Snyder has given us a movie that does what it says on the tin and provides everything we'd want from a zombie blockbuster.