Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"everything dies baby that's a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back... put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty, and meet me tonight in atlantic city"

"caught in a trap... i can't get out..."

"what if we're just caught in loop of fighting and dying and fighting and dying?"

really think that, beneath the richard cheese needledrop and hot pink credits font and kitschy vegas textures, this movie is much more dark, despairing, and nihilistic than people are realizing. only snyder could make a movie that's got dave bautista screaming out in agony but also opens with the zombie apocalypse being unleashed bc of a road head incident. like zobel's the hunt, it's the rare movie that dares to tackle the trump era but is also dismissed by most respectable critics and cinephiles for using the dominant language of the era (not irony alone, but something else, a constant whiplash between extreme irony and sincerity that can occur from moment to moment and even within a single moment) to express itself, instead of retreating back to the willful ignorance of the obama years in the manner of prestige fare like nomadland (set in 2011) and uncut gems (set in 2012). also like the hunt, it's a movie that uses the structure of the battle royale subgenre, an essential form of our time thru popular texts like fortnite, pubg, and warzone that has also not really been treated as the cultural paradigm it is—clint hocking has written about how multiplayer shooters are basically a conversation between gamers about which style of play is superior, which he extrapolates to being a little bit of a larger discourse about differing social relations, and i think that's a powerful metaphor for a time in which we are very aware of the fracturing, division, encampment, and team-like nature of political discussion: "The Squad" is what everyone calls a powerful group of outspoken senators, but it's also what i refer to my regular multiplayer drop group as, and i think there's maybe a connection between AOC's political persona and her multiplayer fandom... also there's a livestreamer zombie hunter in this..

ANYWAY getting off target here. but basically it hit me that, similar to how the snyder cut was about a child (cyborg) basically trying to bring his parent back from the dead, this movie literally ends with a child killing her father. hard not to read a kind of self-hatred and grieving guilt into that given the tragic death of snyder's daughter... this movie circles back to dawn of the dead, snyder's debut, in the way genre is always an infinite loop; zombies make that cycle apparent bc they fundamentally disrupt our understanding of cycles of time, bringing life and death together into the same body, just like genres are always mutating and changing, never quite dead but not always living either. snyder's most distinct contribution to his dawn remake was the zombie baby and this movie has a zombie fetus too. the movie ends the only way it could: the virus spreads, the loop starts again, sequels and remakes and other genre entries that further the spread are produced, just as a father's spiral of guilt over his daughter's death continues. one of a number of deeply despairing genre movies from the past several years—the man trilogy (bye bye, slender, empty), the hunt, capone, eli roth's knock knock and death wish—that basically suggest the only answer is to kill yourself, bitch. speaking of roth i feel like his borderlands movie will share a lot with this...

snyder's nocturama but also his day of the dead

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