Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead

I go into every movie with an open mind, I have expectations set, but I'm open to a movie if it ends up proving itself. Army of the Dead is not one of those movies that proved itself. This is an awful zombie movie that just made me want to blow my brains out due to boredom. There's so many wrong decisions made on a technical level that just made this a not so fun experience to sit through.

Zack Snyder is a director that has made good movies 15 years ago, but hasn't done anything to impress me since. I haven't liked something he's made in a really long time. My personal favorite movie of his is the Dawn of the Dead Remake (2004). That movie is fairly solid, which is why I was somewhat optimistic and interested to see what a modern day Zack Snyder could do with a 2021 zombie movie. Not only is his attachment part of the reason why this movie didn't work on a technical level, but there's some baffling decisions made this feel amateurish in the worst way.

Not only is Snyder the Writer/Director for the movie, alongside a few other writers, but he's also the director of photography. Now this is the first feature he's been the DOP on, so I'll cut him a tiny bit of slack, but please just stick to directing. The terrible cinematography really makes this movie tough to enjoy and I have a feeling this will be a complaint for a large amount of people. I know the majority don't really care about good looking shots or cinematography, but even when you're showing certain scenes to someone that knows very little about filmmaking, they'll point out that something is wrong with these scenes. When I can't follow what's happening in a scene because it's not in focus, is really when the movie takes me out completely. There's multiple scenes where characters or zombies are in the center of the frame, but everything is blurred. I don't know why the blurring of the background elements is so sharp, but it makes every scene look awful. Not only that, but pretty much all of the scenes are underexposed, so the majority of the time you can't see these people's faces when talking.

The one thing I kept saying leading up to this movie's release is that I hope it has good practical effects. Something I love about most higher budget zombie movies are the fun practical blood and make up effects for the zombies. Even Snyder's Dawn of the Dead has some alright practical effects. This movie just feels lazy when it comes to actually showing fun things. This again, come back to the terrible cinematography. It's like they're afraid to show the make up for these zombies. The overuse of CG when it comes to blood effects makes a lot of the attack scenes feel weightless. None of the kills have impact because you just end up seeing a CG blood splatter on the wall. Sure, there's some fun looking effects in this movie, but that's a very small number compared to how many awful looking CG moments there are.

I don't know what the budget was for this movie, but If I had to guess, I'd say it's fairly low. This would explain why there's only a few sets they decided to use throughout the entire movie. This is meant to take place in Las Vegas and they really only show 3 different areas of it. Whenever they're outside in the city, it's always this same set. This would also explain why the CG looks really bad. Maybe the blur effect was done to mask bad background CG? But I have a feeling it was just because Snyder thought it looked cool.

This movie is really boring and incompetent and has no right to be two and a half hours. I can't express my frustration with how much the bad looking visuals ruin this movie for me. I could possibly see this playing out alright if the movie didn't look like footage from the holocaust, but the visuals completely ruin it. This was not a fun experience and I don't recommend anyone watching this. The hardcore Snyder fans already knew they were going to like it before they saw it, so they're probably the only people I'd recommend this to.

Edit: Also why was there a Cyborg zombie in 1 scene for 2 seconds. What was up with that? Why was that never explained. He had a blue eye and I kept calling him Sans from Undertale, someone please explain this scene for me. This is not a spoiler because it's never brought up to my knowledge.

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