Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★★½

It’s wonderful.  I’ll say it again, the difference between a Zack Snyder movie and the same kind of movie by anyone else is that in an industry tier dominated by slapdash efforts and half-assed constructions, he cares.  No matter what he’s making a movie about, he commits to making it as wildly realized as it can be.  Giving you the most operatic and chaotic version (of what would otherwise likely be an anonymously released d grade zombie action movie) and having the most fun with all of it.

The trope characters you always see in a heist or action movie are all given real moments of some combination of humanity, levity, and specificity and then performed by the perfect people for such roles. There’s nothing perfunctory happening here.

Notaro (such a gem, feels inconceivable she wasn’t the original pick for how complete and right the character is), Schweighöfer (finally cracks how to play the obsessive nerd safecracker), Hardwick (there’s something very cool happening with this character in relation to the genre), and Rossi (as a villain we see so often performed genuinely rather than as a cariacuture) are all particular standouts but there’s not a weak link in the cast.  Not surprising, Snyder movies always have a particular eye about casting people who perfectly straddle the line between authentic and stylized acting.

So much of this movie wouldn’t work in other hands. We take some pretty crazy genre turns that lead us to some crazy, fun, and interesting new ideas and visuals for the zombie genre and watching it unfold you know Snyder’s one of the few directors willing to tread the untrodden path to see if it will work.

The pacing does feel a little uneven at times but the total picture is such a joy it works out ultimately.  You really feel how free he is here after a career at WB.  Finally loose to do what only he can do, while reinventing his style along the way.

Good stuff.  See it in a theatre if you can.

Tim liked this review