Army of the Dead – Review

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The opening credits sequence for Army of the Dead, which features versions of Allison Crowe and Richard Cheese for Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas song, actually sums up the pluses and minuses of the film. That Zack Snyder always carries good intentions and high ambitions regarding the story, but his presentations are impeded by the festive styles, which despite creating massive entertainment, make his narrative messy.

Unlike the remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004) as his debut, creating a dark zombie film was not Snyder’s goal here. Perhaps this is the film that accommodates comedy the most, including through deliberate silliness. Just look at how the director’s script with Shay Hatten (John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum) and Joby Harold (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), explains the reasons for the zombie outbreak, which seems to come from a parody or production titles for The Asylum. Best Movie Site

In short, a zombie outbreak hit Las Vegas, causing the government to shut down entire cities, then set up quarantine camps for potentially infected people. When the plan to burn the city using nuclear was announced, Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada who recently played Scorpion in Mortal Kombat), a millionaire, hired the services of Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), to take money worth 200 million dollars from the safe in his casino, which is located in the middle of Las Vegas. Even though he had doubts, Scott agreed to form a team.

On the other hand, Kate (Ella Purnell), Scott’s daughter who has long hated her father, volunteers at the camp. Together with Kate, we see how the authorities act arbitrarily there, by using the zombie infection test as a weapon (if the authorities say that someone is infected, even though the fact is not, then that person’s life is over). Unfortunately, this reflection of the reality regarding the persecution of the apparatus is only briefly discussed, then forgotten, eliminating the opportunity for the Army of the Dead to throw strong social criticism like the ranks of the best zombie films.

When she realizes that a smuggler named Lily aka The Coyote (Nora Arnezeder) is helping one of her friends enter Las Vegas, Kate insists on joining Scott’s team, to make a rescue. It’s not wrong if you feel the prologue is quite long, because we only set foot in the “red zone” when the duration reaches 50 minutes. Previously, the Army of the Dead was dominated by the introduction of the whole team, where in addition to Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer will return to play this character and direct the prequel titled Army of Thieves, which is also planned to be released in 2021) the safe breaker and Marianne Peters the helicopter pilot (Tig Notaro) , the audience will have a hard time understanding what each member’s special skills are. Movie Review

A series of ridiculous sentences accompanied the introduction, which was deliberately made in the name of comedy although not all of them managed to provoke laughter, before finally focusing totally on the action. Apart from regular zombies, Army of the Dead also has Valentine, a zombie tiger, and the alpha, a zombie who can think, even feel. Zeus is the name of the king of zombies, which by design and characteristics, is like a modification of Bub, the iconic figure from George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985).

Let us first discuss elements that, as many have suspected, Snyder will not be able to solidly present. What else if not drama. The characterization is flat, even though the duration reaches 148 minutes, the exploration time spent is very minimal. Bautista tries his best to muster all his emotions, but we know he is not an actor armed with a high sensibility. And isn’t emotional drama less suitable for films like this?

But nothing “merits” killing the impact of his emotions than Kate. Snyder wanted to give a message about “goodness (read: humanity) that has not been lost in the midst of a zombie outbreak”, but instead of impressing kindness, Kate’s figure appeared annoying. Always complaining, exuding an unsympathetic teen angst aura, he even contributed to disrupting his father’s team mission (of course there was interference with greed considering the story is set in Las Vegas). Then after all the chaos that took a lot of casualties, the Army of the Dead chose a conclusion that made the journey for nearly two and a half hours in vain.

Forget about that selfish teenager, because we know, no matter how bad the story is, Snyder always offers a stunning action. Apart from gore which was completely undressed, this time, Snyder’s actions were able to outwit expectations. One of the most interesting points was when the first victim fell. The basic idea is interesting, featuring zombies in the middle of a hibernation phase, who will wake up if they are touched, or have their eyes hit by a light. In order to avoid spoilers, let’s say the first victim is “X”.

When accidentally touching, X has to race against the clock, stabbing one zombie after another before they awaken, creating an intense moment that is the closest to the horror of an entire action-oriented film. There we know the end of X is near. But Snyder refused to make it a cannon fodder. Over and over again X went through the pinhole, “tricking” the audience into thinking it was going to die easily, fighting to the end. Snyder kept repeating the surprises, whether it was the timing of an unexpected death or an unexpected victim. Even if it’s one-dimensional, at least the majority of the characters are killed in a memorable way.

The culmination stage lasts about 30 minutes, containing non-stop action wrapped in capable choreography. Bautista bursts out with rage by slashing a knife at the zombie army, so cool Nora Arnezeder as The Coyote, are some of the highlights in her exciting third act, although I hope Ana de la Reguera as Maria, Scott’s longtime friend, will be given a chance to show off. tooth. Following that was Snyder’s decision to use the song Zombie by The Cranberries, to accompany a sequence that he didn’t even intend to appear intriguing. Sensitivity is (one) of Snyder’s main weaknesses, so that in the majority of his films, drama elements fail to work. Top Movie

Luckily, the pacing is improving here, even though the film is still bloated due to a few moments that last too long, and of course the slow motion (the quantity is somewhat reduced compared to Snyder’s previous works). But it never feels boring, because as usual, Snyder carries a big ambition, as well as a unique vision. Army of the Dead is not a forced zombie film that has a long history. There are ideas that, when handled by a more talented storyteller, could lead to a thought-provoking spectacle (the zombie version of Planet of the Apes). But even a great storyteller is not necessarily able to entertain the audience as Zack Snyder did.

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