Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★½

Not without its flaws — given that Zack Snyder was given more creative control on this than any of his other films in the past, I do wish this had a more dynamic visual style like most of his other films do (though I suppose this is the result of him serving as his own DP); I wish the zombie stuff were more over-the-top than it actually is; and while the attempts at emotional depth are certainly sincere, not all of the beats land — but I ultimately appreciate how personal this feels and how committed it is to being its own thing. Between this and his cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE, it’s evident that Snyder is using filmmaking as a way of coping with and reflecting on the unfortunate passing of his daughter, and for him to do such a thing with his films — let alone ones made to be viewed by mainstream audiences — is incredibly vulnerable, and something I largely admire in him wanting to share that with the rest of the world.

It’s also quite fun, and the kind of film that Snyder should be making more often. Solid cast as well, with Dave Bautista and Ella Purnell being the MVPs and fully selling the father/daughter relationship (which is the heart of the film); the former in particular is genuinely a talented character actor and not just someone who relies on the same one-note shtick like many athletes-turned-actors do.

Much like with M. Night Shyamalan, I may be ambivalent on Snyder as a filmmaker, but I’m glad he is a filmmaker in the first place.

Also, this has one of the best single uses of “fuck” in any recent film. Anyone reading this writeup will know which moment I’m referring to if/when they see it.

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