Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead

Lots of parts, none of them very good, which means that this is of course substantially less than the sum of them. A wounded Snyder is a bitter one, intent on doing things his own way, and to be honest, I thought that would add up to an entertainingly sadistic horror show that's as close to a Dead Rising movie as we're going to get. Alas, what we have is a bunch of rote sentimentality balanced against a slurry of endless, poorly-rendered CGI blood and a sunbaked visual style so garish that the camera is actively squinting throughout. Movie-time is almost always one of the biggest flaws in any film, but this features maybe some of the worst of all time, constantly shifting tonal gears as the pace judders against the ticking clock. Minutes are elastic in this time-sensitive heist, so much so to the point where you honestly wonder if any character is aware of any of the stakes. Introducing heaps of new zombie rules (that basically don't even make them zombies anymore) is a problem that only serves to overclutter the dull (but diverse) cast of characters Snyder takes an infuriatingly long time to kill, and once all that shuffles across the finish line and into sequel-bait territory, the only thing I was actually left with proper enjoyment of was the opening titles (maybe his best behind Watchmen) and looking at the seams for where Chris D'Elia was cut and where Tig Notaro was added. Salute for actually pulling that latter move off as well as they did, but that's maybe the only triumph in a really misguided attempt at Snyder going indie. Warner Bros was bad for him in a lot of ways, but maybe directing his energy into mythical stupidity was better than just letting him loose on bland action fare like this. Despite the length here, I'm baffled that this was a passion project.

EDIT: lowered to one star, because this really is totally worthless and a proper devolution of Snyder's worst traits (and approximately none of his good ones). Fucking fetid.

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