So just a few days ago, Zack Snyder’s new Netflix film, Army of the Dead finally premiered, and I took it upon myself to watch the entire film before writing my two cents here. What to expect? Well, a bit of good fashioned Snyder action and some boneheaded screenwriting issues. Let me elaborate on the first part, most of this will be spoiler-free:
The film sets itself up brilliantly with an interesting startup to the zombie invasion. The credit scene is a montage of all that has happened in Vegas with crazy shots of Las Vegas falling apart while society in and of itself crumbles. The only ones who’ve managed to keep it together. They are the protagonists themselves. Each shot by shot scene shows something that Zack Snyder is always good with; presentation. Of course, right when the film starts, this is where the interests wane a bit.
Where it starts
Right before the heist, we are introduced to the survivors living their new lives. While watching some political discussions that pays nods to current political climate. Wasn’t exactly into that. Of course, the team has been set up by Hiroyuki Sanada. They are a bunch of ragtags, a team of misfits with one screaming German. Yeah, the German screaming is kind of the recurring joke too. Now the jokes are fine, at times they’re pretty funny, but they aren’t gonna make you choke while you’re at it.
The big issue stems from the writing. Some of the character motivations make no sense, the dialogue is kind of weird. There’s a bit too much melodrama in between, and there was a point where I felt like during the heat of the action. Someone should have done something based on common sense alone, but didn’t. But they weren’t that much of a nuisance that I was put off by the film.
No it has crazy action set pieces and the zombie hierarchy that exists is a step-up from anything George Miller has done. Man rest in peace, his films are still great. The CGI complements to that while adding some nice blood and gore fest of which are pretty delectable. There are obviously some zany ideas here and there, but the bad screenplay didn’t help. Zack should hire a ghostwriter or screenplay doctor for his next projects.
But I did have fun, quite a good fun. If you can turn off your brain for a bit, there’s quite a bit to enjoy here. Here’s hoping the sequel improves. If that’s not enough, he even has a prequel movie (directed by the screaming German) and animated series coming up from Netflix real soon. Army of the Dead is something akin to what his prior film, Dawn of the Dead did for the zombie genre. Though I feel like personally the latter is still a better zombie film overall.
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