Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★½

Zack Snyder returns to the zombie subgenre, and with it he brings an epic film that is a bit more lighthearted than, really, anything he's made in a long while. Army of the Dead is a popcorn movie. Even with a 2.5 hour runtime, it moves along at a fast pace. Suspension of disbelief is a requirement, as the heist plan is, arguably, the dumbest plan ever in the history of heist films. This may or may not have been the point (the film does have a satirical edge), but nonetheless, these mercenaries really should have taken the time to watch Triple Frontier.

Snyder adds some interesting twists to the typical zombie lore. The zombies in this film follow a hierarchy, including a King and a (pregnant!) Queen. Interestingly enough, the zombies overtaking Las Vegas are a relatively hospitable bunch (come in peace, make an offering, and safe passage is granted) In contrast, the human "heroes" aren't very heroic at times, and, without giving away too much of the plot, are severely compromised by greed and pride.

As I mentioned earlier, Army of the Dead is a popcorn flick. I would even classify it as a Summer blockbuster-type film. However, Snyder wisely uses this to keep the viewer off guard. The light, humorous aspects of the film disguise how true Snyder stays to the overall apocalyptic nature of the zombie subgenre. The heroes may be mercenaries, but they are very human, and very mortal. And while this isn't exactly a scary film, there are some tense sequences, the best of which involves "hibernating zombies."

Overall, this is a good film, short of great. It's been a wild year for Zack Snyder, making a comeback with projects that were, obviously, near and dear to his heart. In a weird way, I think non-fans of Zack Snyder might enjoy this film the most.

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