Monday 24 May 2021

Movie Review: ARMY OF THE DEAD (2021)


OK, so I submitted to the hype and watched Army Of The Dead on Netflix last night. I'd seen mixed reviews online from people I know, so I went in with low-to-middle expectations, especially as I've been disappointed with most of director Zack Snyder's recent DC movies (bar the new cut of Justice League- I haven't seen that yet. I'm). 

I'm going to put my head above the parapet and let you all know that I loved it. I'm a big fan of zombie films, dystopias, and heist movies too, so this, being a mish-mash of those genres, really appealed to me. I felt that the mix and the execution was spot on, making this a roller-coaster of action, horror, comedy, thinly veiled socio-political commentary. 

Spoilers head.

The story starts with the military transporting an unknown 'thing' in convoy. After a road accident, the 'thing' is released and is revealed to be a humanoid-zombie type creature who kills the soldiers, instantly bringing them back to life as his undead crew, and then heads off to nearby Las Vegas where chaos ensues. 

Las Vegas, now over-run with zombies, has been sealed off and survivors who aren't showing symptoms are being kept in a refugee camp just outside of the city walls. Muscleman Dave Bautista's character, who was a zombie-killing badass in the fist part of the movie, is now flipping burgers for a living in another city (not sure why he wasn't kept in the refugee camp, but let's just go with it). He's approached by a Japanese business man / gangster who offers him a load of money to assemble a team to break into Las Vegas, raid a safe full of cash, and escape via helicopter before the city is nuked.

Army Of The Dead clocks in at nearly two and a half hours, but thanks to the quick pacing, doesn't feel anything like as long as that. There's plenty of welcome character development, so I actually felt something for the team as opposed to watching under-developed nobodies in peril, where it's more interesting to watch them get torn apart than survive. There's also an interesting take on the core of 'alpha zombies' who are fast, show intelligence, and present as much more deadly adversaries than the generic moaning slow corpses we're used to. This provided a subtle Mad Max vibe which I though was fun.

As with any Horror movie, there will always be countless people who hate it or are overly critical. Army Of The Dead isn't Shakespeare. It's not supposed to be. OK, so there are a few plot holes. So what? It has an awesome undead tiger! I thought it was great fun and a fresh spin on the zombie genre which has been mostly done to death.


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