Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★½

To the ironic twist of the unknown.

2021 is the year of Zack Snyder, but you probably already knew that. It warms my heart for so many people to have seemingly had a change of heart regarding the man. He's always been good, downright one of the best modern filmmakers we have, and I'm happy more and more folks are recognizing that. Earlier this year, we got to see his vision regarding the Justice League, still the best film of the year so far. Now, he gets to revisit the playground of zombies, and with it, makes the most stylistically unique and original world for a zombie film since Train to Busan. I think a good way to encapsulate the best moments of Army of the Dead is to talk about how good Zack is with death scenes, and how that goes two ways. First, he can make the deaths of characters you care about hurt like a motherfucker. (I always love when a death in a zombie movie especially can get an audible gasp out of me, and there's one here where you have to be dead inside yourself to not have that kind of reaction.) Second, when you are presented with abhorrent characters that are crafted to enjoy hating, Snyder knows exactly how to play with your cinematic bloodlust and offer the most satisfying slaughter imaginable. When it comes to carnage and killer needle drops, it's Snyder alongside Quentin that are going to consistently deliver the goods. A strong ensemble cast, a good balance between dark comedy and enveloping character drama, and some fantastic gore to splatter the walls of a dystopian Vegas makes this a jackpot for Netflix and Snyder. Bautista is strong as always, the CGI for Tig Notaro is seamless and her character on her own is highly enjoyable, and my favorite of the bunch probably is the safe cracker played by Matthias Schweighöfer. Whenever he would screech when a zombie got too close to him, I'd want to squeeze him like a squeaky toy, he's adorable. A fun movie with muscles and a good heart. Zack stays winning, and the house always wins.


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