Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

So, this is Aliens... yeah? I joke, but really, this is Aliens.

Giving credit where it's deserved: I like the setup here. A zombie king and queen that can actually think (Was the zombie world not far more interesting than the humans? Can we get more of that?). An apocalyptic Las Vegas (Again, the more interesting movie would have taken place there. With the zombies). A heist movie. Yes please.

Then you start watching and realize this is a check-your-brain-at-the-door movie that doesn't realize that's what it is... with a running time of 2 1/2ish hours it starts to drag in the final act and continually sags anytime the film tries to get you to care for the characters. Though, I guess it should be noted that [a failed] effort was made attempting to add some emotional gravitas. Much of the failing in that area can be attributed to Bautista and Ella Purnell (who plays his daughter) and their inability to bring any weight to the scenes that would require that punch.

There is a pinch of social commentary, but Snyder didn't have the awareness(?), guts(?), ability(?) to weave it in throughout the movie like Romero did with the best of his Dead series. Instead those moments seem as if they belong in a different film.

Some of the casting is fun and I especially liked Tig Notaro as the helicopter pilot. The scene when she discusses who the most expendable member of the team should be was a blast, if a little too short. More of that, please?

In the end, I felt like I'd seen this movie at least a dozen times in my life and enjoyed it more on many of those other viewings. There were not many surprises. You can even pick out who is going to die, sometimes when they will die, sometimes who will kill them, and even who will get the most brutal deaths in the first forth of the movie. A few well handled action scenes and a couple well cast roles isn't enough to save a self-important 90 minute movie that was stretched out to 2 1/2 hours.

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