Thursday, June 24, 2021


Zack Snyder has been busy as of late. After using the internet to release the Snyder cut of Justice League, he is back in the good graces of Critical movie watchers worldwide, including myself. While we were hoping for another Snyder DC film that looks like that's not going to happen, he decided to go a different route, a zombie heist movie. Army of the Dead is his second undead outing 2004 Dawn of the Dead being first. This film was supposed to come out a few years after dawn but found itself in development hell, but do good things come to those who wait? Let's talk about the Army of the Dead, a Netflix original.
The movie is a modern Grindhouse film like Planet Terror. The military was transporting something mysterious across the desert, and they got into a crash--releasing a zombie, a super-strong, bullet-dodging zombie. The opening credits scroll as a montage of footage of their dark fate in some memorable and funny ways, with slow motion and good music in classic Snyder fashion. Each of our main characters handled the undead in their own way. The main star is Dave Bautista. We all know him as Drax from the MCU. He plays Scott Ward, ex-military pulled in by a wealthy benefactor offering him a chance at 50 million dollars. When he bites his victims, the change is almost instant, and right over the hill, the budding horde sees Las Vegas. The problem is it's inside a vault, inside a casino, in a zombie-ridden city that the government plans on nuking in a few days. So he gets together a team of ragtag ex-military friends, a safecracker, and a zombie-killing youtube star, and the heist is on.
This was an overall fun movie to watch. Not going to lie; there is a lot of the numbers plot and characters in this movie. In other movies, this would be a bad thing, but here you kind of expect it. Don't expect The Walking Dead to aim more for Zombieland. It is great everyone has their own moment to shine. But I do have to give credit to Tig Notaro. The movie was done shooting when Chris D'elia was exposed for his sexual misconduct, among other things. Netflix demanded reshoots, and the character was recast.   
Tig and Zack worked together to make her part of the team by digitally removing Chris from every scene he was in. Overall, it was done seamlessly, plus she looked badass. The zombies are beautifully disgusting. The combination of practical and digital effects works together so well. I have a friend who actually did some great stunt work in the film. He will be joining us on the Amerime Junkies Podcast. (shameless plug) here's what he looked like.
The film itself was beautifully shot. You have to give it to Zack Snyder. He handled cinematography as well. He captures beautiful scenes as well as random out-of-focus scenes that are a grindhouse cliche. Some of the writing is very hacky, but I have to assume it is intentional due to the genre. Netflix is leaning into this, and there already talks of a sequel and animated spinoff. There are a few moments in the film where you notice things that definitely need to be addressed ( zombie robots cough cough). I can't wait to see more of this world. 

Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead B+

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