Army of the Dead – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Army of the Dead – Blood, Money and Mayhem: It’s a Zombie Heist

In film, the escape can be defined by many things.  From the mixing of genres to the expanse of one’s imagination, falling into another world can lead to some enjoyment.  Even so, there is a chance the escape can fall prey to the script.  In this review, I look at the latest film from Zac Snyder.  Through an escape of common tropes, this film plays with genres to create an indifferent world with zombies.  Army of the Dead is a film that levels the brain with flawed mayhem.

In the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, a group of mercenaries are tasked with the ultimate job:  gambling their lives for the greatest heist ever.  Zac Snyder is known for creating worlds with style over substance.  With this film, he creates another visual spectacle built around the concept of zombies.  The story begins with a quick setup of the initial outbreak, a montage of character introduction and lead-in to the main plot.  The lead-in comes when the main protagonist, Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), is brought a proposition from an auspicious businessman.  That proposition: put together a team, travel to Zombie-infested Las Vegas and retrieve a huge amount of money from a prominent Hotel/Casino.  From this point, the story plays along the foundational concepts of heist tropes, zombie elements and one-dimensional character motifs.  Through each interaction, scenes become a mimicry of one-liners, expositional conversations and reactionary melodrama.  There is no real attempt to build upon generalities, leading to a first half of flaws and unexplained subplots.  Even with this, the alluring factor that lifts above the derivative script is the framework built through the visual prowess.  This stylizing of action is a foreshadowing of things to come.

The group traverses the Las Vegas ‘sandbox’, making unwanted decisions with alluding consequences.  Once they arrive at the vault, those lingering threads lead to a gauntlet of the ultimate conflict.  With a horde of zombies between them and their escape, the second half becomes a barrage of bombastic action within a compounded visual spectacle.  From unexpected deaths, over-the-top action sequences and unique twists to the zombie element, it becomes an adrenaline roller coaster ride.  This leads to a third act of common but welcomed bloodshed, but a climax that is fractured within satisfaction.  Army of the Dead is the typical foray of Zac Snyder, a personification of his signature in films.  If you are a fan of his work, this is one for you.  It is available on Netflix, but it would be a fun time at the theaters.     

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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