Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★½

New Zack Snyder film, same old mixed bag.

If you look past all the influences this film took from "Escape from New York," "Zombieland," "Aliens," "Dawn of the Dead" etc. Then there's a pretty fun two and a half hours to be had.

Although this film perfectly illuminated to me that Zack Snyder suffers from the Lucas effect. He's a good DP, but a lousy storyteller. Seriously, there are some cool shots here, in fact I'd say that this is a film made up of great shots and individual moments. Unfortunately for Snyder (and his overall career) it's the connective tissue that strings these great moments along that he can't quite get a grasp on. Dave Bautista does a great job of wringing every ounce of characterisation from his character. He makes up for a lot of the short comings with the writing.

Watching this film reminded me of a game like "Dead Rising" which coincidentally was set in Vegas and had a whole cast of kooky characters you could play as. I don't want to sound too negative because I enjoyed this film more than I disliked it. It's just that the flaws in Zack Snyder's approach to filmmaking are becoming more and more apparent.

Another issue I had was that there was absolutely no need for this film to be two and a half hours long. If it was edited down to an hour fifty/two hours I feel like it would've played better.

With that said this a classic Snyder film. It looks cool, it has good action, it looks and is shot beautifully, it has Snyder thumbing through his vinyl collection for cool songs that don't fit thematically, under-cooked characters and a bloated story. Over-all, it was worth a watch although I can't see myself ever re-watching it. "Zombieland" did it better and in half the time.

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