Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★½

A decent zombie action thriller with a pretty interesting premise, some great little satirical nods to Romero, an interesting expansion of the zombie mythos and an incredibly frustrating aversion to self-editing. Snyder brings out all his usual tricks as he absolutely fills this film to the brim with shallow focus close-ups, self-indulgent slow mo, tons and tons of references to mythology and Christianity, a beautiful eye for breathtaking imagery and action set pieces and this bloated self-seriousness that seems to break the pace with a sledgehammer. Dave Baustita is kinda the perfect Snyder protagonist as this larger than life, hulking brute who's an action superhero but purportedly emotionally deep. The ensemble cast is pretty fun with Tig Notaro being a particular standout. There seems to be a big-name actor from all across the globe to perhaps increase the outreach of the film on the global scale but the Indian box office definitely gets the short end of the stick, not that most Indians will be able to see a film in theatres anytime soon. The action is pretty fun and the last half hour or so of this film is bursting with blood, guts and gore and it's spellbinding. The film is bloated beyond belief as it could've easily been cut down to a sharp 110 minute little thriller with maybe even a real time 90 minute extended climax. The visuals are absolutely stunning even though I'm not the biggest fan of the super close ups with that frustratingly shallow depth of field but the big, expansive set pieces are stellar. There's a beautiful sort of tragedy to how the movie finally unfolds but I can't help but feel so many plot points in the movie go absolutely nowhere and that's super frustrating. All in all another Snyder film that'll probably divide the room but is definitely memorable for its Snyderness. And a petition to replace every problematic actor with Tig Notaro from now on, starting with Armie Hammer in Death on the Nile. Also, most of my problems with Snyder as a DOP stem from my problems with Snyder's directorial choices. On a technical level, he's pretty incredible as a DOP. I really hope we get a chance to see Snyder act as a cinematographer for movies he's not directing because it'd be pretty incredible seeing his keen eye for stunning visuals be used with someone else's storytelling skills.

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