Netflix 'Army of the Dead' Review: Zack Snyder's zombie heist film is big and a ridiculously fun ride
Zack Snyder is undoubtedly one of the most popular directors in Hollywood right now and his projects are eagerly awaited. So when it was announced that Snyder would be returning to the horror sub-genre, there was a lot of excitement among his loyal fan base.
Some things that viewers always expect from a Zack Snyder film are slow-motion shots, gory action sequences, and some amazing vintage music. The director’s newest film gives viewers everything that they want. Whenever you feel that things might be going downhill, Snyder comes up with something that the audience will never forget.
In the ‘Army of the Dead’ opening minutes, Snyder doesn’t shy away from unleashing mayhem in this ultimate zombie heist movie. The movie starts with one of the finest opening sequences in recent times and shows the carnage as zombies get brutally killed by a section of surviving humans as Elvis Presley’s iconic song ‘Viva Las Vegas’ blasts in the background. The entire sequence makes you realize the things that can be accomplished if you let a director stick to his vision.
In the film, 'Sin City' Las Vegas is plagued by zombies and the military is trying its best to get rid of them. However, the army fails to do so. The government decides to wipe the city with a tactical nuclear strike in the next 36 hours. Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) contacts a mercenary, Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), and gives him the task of assembling a team and retrieving $200 million from his casino vault before the city is leveled.
Ward quickly assembles a team of some of the bravest zombie killers and experts for the dangerous operation. The group includes Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera), a trusted old friend, Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick), a fellow soldier, Mickey Guzman (Raúl Castillo), who goes around shooting videos of himself shooting zombies, his friend Chambers (Samantha Win), Marianna Peters (Tig Notaro) and Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer).
They are later joined by Ward’s estranged daughter Kate (Ella Purnell) and Coyote (Nora Arnezeder). Kate only joins the team to protect her friend Geeta (Huma Qureshi) and her kids who are currently living in a refugee camp.
However, things quickly begin to go downhill when alpha zombie Zeus (Richard Cetrone) and his bride (Athena Perample) try to stop the team from doing their work. Additionally, the government knows the magnitude of the problem. So they decide to scrap their initial plan and bomb the city in the next 90 minutes.
At 2 hours and 28 minutes, there is hardly a dull moment in the movie. The zombies are terrifying. So if you get easily scared, then you might want to have some company while watching the film.
Apart from having an abundance of action sequences, the movie has some intimate moments as well. For example, Ward trying to bond with his estranged daughter and mend his relationship with her.
Bautista as Ward is really good. While seeing his performance you’ll realize how far he has come as an actor, and it would be a travesty to say that he is just another action star. Meanwhile, all the other actors do a wonderful job with their unique style and dialogue delivery.
The best part of the movie is when the team starts their mission and fans are introduced to a whole new universe of zombies who are not just fast, but also quite intelligent. The group also features a zombie couple who not only have an active sex life but also want to have babies.
Snyder did not want people to see that aspect and decided to remove the plotline where male zombies rape human females who then have human hybrid zombie offsprings. Undoubtedly, this directorial decision was the right one to make.
Snyder continues to excel in filmmaking and entertaining the audiences with compelling stories. ‘Army of the Dead’ has all the thrills that’ll satisfy your craving for action entertainment during these turbulent times. There’s no shortage of excitement, suspense, and twists and turns in ‘Army of the Dead’.
As a whole, Zack Snyder’s latest film might not be the greatest zombie movie ever made, but it will manage to leave a mark in this crowded genre. See the movie and you’ll not be disappointed.
‘Army of the Dead’ arrives on Netflix on Friday, May 21