Army of the Dead Movie Review: Dinner Theater for Our Different Times
Army of the Dead Movie Review: Looking at the epidemic prevailing outside, and we are the ‘zombies’ who have been sequestered, Jack Snyder is doing the actual mimicry on the film reel.
A zombie tiger with one eye out. A zombie king, whose headgear and cape would not look out of place at the Colosseum, would lead all of his obedient zombie army. Then, there are always greedy humans, who are only looking out for themselves.
These are two broadly defined opposing groups that we find in director Zac Snyder, Army of the Dead’s latest offering, which streams on Netflix today.
The zombie-heist film has been in the making for years, and finally sees the light of day under Snyder’s expert direction.
The film takes us into a world where the zombie apocalypse is already upon us, and Murray has been wreaking havoc in and around Las Vegas for some time. Now, currently, they are indexed in Sin City and protected with iron grills and shipping containers.
There is a literal tick time bomb, as Vegas will be flattened with an atomic bomb to kill the remaining zombies and save mankind from the zombie apocalypse.
This is where the always greedy humans enter, as there is a large treasure to be saved from a locked vault in one of Sin City’s many casinos.
A hastily put together group of mercenaries break out of the woodwork, led by Scott Ward (Dave Butista) – who saved the Secretary of Defense from a zombie attack – and they just have to cross the deserted area, billions.
Access security to the dollar, and proceed from the roof in a chopper, soon. Simple, easy, no rocket science. right. Alas. We get an emotional curve ball as Geeta (Huma Qureshi) and Scott’s daughter Ella Ward, and all plans fail.
From the tenth second of the film there is a major feeling of fear and fear, and it increases with each passing minute. But what is the feeling of a zombie without a nervous, monotonous, clingy feeling? Added to this is the ‘Heist’ filter which Snyder has tried to use to good effect.
The trick is to use specific genres and tropes, since enough content is available, the audience will either get your reference right away, or it will take the joke on its head. Remember that we have The Walking Dead going on for 10 seasons, making the corpse a domestic phenomenon.
The same goes for the theft formula. Ocean’s 11, 12, 13 and now Ocean’s 8, and Money Heist on Netflix, have all given global audiences a substantial taste of what a good robbery looks like.The popularity of Money Heist is unprecedented, we also have the ‘Dhol Tasha’ version of Bela Siao! The funniest part of a robbery film or show is the planning and recruiting of the ‘Motley Crue’, each of whom will have their own specific set of skills, each important to pull off the robbery smoothly.
In the army of the dead the process is done very quickly, and the plan and anticipation of successfully pulling off a final robbery, well, we never really experience it. For the dead bit, there is enough violence, blood, gore, and brains to satisfy the zombie quotient.
We see that people are bleeding, dying, and the general feeling of foreboding never leaves us. The gray, foggy views of Las Vegas that we see in the film are in contrast to the normally shiny, shiny, disco-light-influenced one we usually associate with Sin City. The film is smaller than the rest of Snyder’s cast, is nothing on the scale of the Justice League, and yet it feels quite big.
The film is the perfect ‘dinner theater’, using Snyder’s own words. The goofy violence, the endless gore, which we all guess is what we call a ‘zombie film’, is all on point. Looking at the epidemic that is spreading outside, and we are the ‘corpses’ that have been indexed, the film is mimicking real on the reel.
The film could not have come at a better time than this, with its mind-numbing attitude and influence. Check it out for sheer entertainment, VFX, and a great soundtrack, taken from Snyder’s own master playlist.