ARMY OF THE DEAD (REVIEW)
Dir. Zack Snyder
Reviewer. Dan Cook
17 years after bursting onto the scene with his surprisingly good remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 classic DAWN OF THE DEAD, director Zack Snyder’ returns to the zombie genre with ARMY OF THE DEAD - a two and half hour long slog of a film that feels even less original than his previous undead outing. Starring Dave Bautista, Ella Purcell, Tig Notaro and a whole host of others, many of whom are rotting flesh-chewing corpses, ARMY OF THE DEAD sees a bunch of idiotic misfits who band together to infiltrate a zombie-infested Las Vegas casino and steal the millions of dollars kept in its vault.
Replete with all of the directors trademarks that have become all too familiar such as an overuse of slow-motion, fast-paced action, hollow characterisations and a jukebox soundtrack, ARMY OF THE DEAD is very much a Zack Snyder movie and while his idiosyncrasies are becoming increasingly tedious with each passing project, it cannot be denied that he is, in every sense of the word, an auteur filmmaker. Camera moves are rapid, the cinematography is rich and the violence is as crunchy and as stylised as the bloodshed seen in 300, WATCHMEN and the aforementioned ARMY OF THE DEAD.
However, like many of his movies, ARMY OF THE DEAD is an exercise in style over substance and with a running time that exceeds any other modern zombie movie, it quickly outstays its welcome. It’s certainly gory, with plenty of gruesome images of both undead and human deaths that sure to illicit gasps and even a few guilty laughs. But these choice moments of bloody mayhem are not enough to carry this bland and frequently ugly picture which seriously lacks any characters to care about or a story to sustain emotional momentum.
My advice, watch the infinitely superior zombie epic TRAIN TO BUSAN instead.