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Dominik Vetrák
May 22, 2021, 12:05pm
Reading time: 4:59

Review: Army of the Dead

Zack Snyder shot some nice action scenes. But is Army of the Dead anything more than just an average zombie action movie?

Dominik Vetrák
May 22, 2021, 12:05pm
Reading time: 4:59
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Review: Army of the Dead
Zdroj: Netflix
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Zack Snyder most likely won't shoot anything for Warner Bros. anymore. As he said himself, he thinks they don't like him there and they've rejected several of his other ideas for films. The  fiasco with Justice League and the entire DC film universe is over, and his new huge zombie blockbuster, Army of the Dead, has been released on Netflix. However, there is no plan to make another Dawn of the Dead, a great zombie movie that Snyder started his directing career with.


Army of the Dead is a better film in perhaps only one complex thing - in quality, quantity and the way the action has been shot. We think the film is worth seeing anyway, especially at a time when we only get big blockbusters like once every six months.


In this particular film, we travel to a time, in which the transport of a zombie goes wrong. He then infests all of Las Vegas. The state of Nevada miraculously manages to isolate the zombies and creates a barrier around the city, so they can't escape.



But we're talking Las Vegas. So billions of dollars have remained in casinos and safes. The owner of one of these casinos wants to get them back. He sends a lot of mercenaries to the zombie-infested Vegas. They need a vault specialist, without whom they won't get the money. However, the reason why the casino owner does not know the password to his own safe remains a mystery.


Likewise, you won't find out why the screenwriters came up with dozens of scenes and dialogues that make absolutely no sense. The plot and its construction are complete non-sense, but we can elaborate on that in the spoiler discussion below the article. Aside from that, Army of the Dead is exactly the type of movie in which you catch yourself rolling your eyes a lot.


Sometimes this is due to corny dialogues and characters, other times it's their really bad and incomprehensible decisions in critical situations (keep in mind that these are special soldiers who have been in the infested city many times, so there is no excuse for this behavior). Even the basic logic of some storylines doesn't make sense at times, such as the escape of a zombie, whose way of escape gets you like this:


Recenzia: Army of the Dead
Zdroj: New Line Cinema

Unfortunately, viewer who actually thinks about what is happening on the screen, will most likely find himself staring at the screen in awe a few times. In Hollywood, it's probably taught in screenwriting schools that the characters in zombie films must absent any signs of rational behavior.


However, it is a little annoying that the film doesn't even follow its own physical laws. People turn into zombies just a few seconds after the bite, while some characters have at least half a day before the actual transformation. This is not explained in the film, so it's clear that the screenwriters were too lazy to put the individual scenes together in a more intelligent way.

If you manage to ditch your brain for a while, you're in for a wild, action-filled ride full of beautiful and eloquently filmed scenes. The film takes too long to get started, despite the fact that it focuses on only one character from a dramatic point of view. The protagonist Scott performed by the actor Dave Bautista.



He had to kill his wife, and became estranged from his daughter, who has seen the whole act with her own eyes. However, his storyline is uninteresting, so you'll be anxious for him to finally get to town and start killing these zombies.


As soon as that happens, you'll forget about everything else for a while and just enjoy the destruction of the undead. Zack Snyder not only directed, produced and co-wrote the film. He also got in front of the camera and we must admit, he did very well. The action scenes are clear (Snyder has an amazing feel for the space around the actors) and shot from great angles. We have to especially praise the scenes in buildings with no light, which they lit up and shot incredibly well.


Action is the strongest aspect of the film. It doesn't offer anything groundbreaking, but it does great, considering the purpose. Snyder uses his famous slow motion shots, but this time we actually found their use quite smart and productive. 


We also enjoyed the visual aspect of the film. There's a lot of visual tricks and CGI scenes, of course, but they fit quite well into the film. Thanks to that even the zombie tiger (which, by the way, has an amazing scene with this one poor man) or digital blood splashing in all directions doesn't feel distracting at all.



Technically, the film is a success. Even though it goes on for two and a half hours and the introduction in particular could be shorter, but the cut works quite well. After the beginning, I wasn't bored at all and I enjoyed how Snyder deals with zombies with an almost unlimited budget. The characters are cool at times, other times they only work with cliché dialogues and scenes.


In a negative sense, we would like to emphasize the extremely annoying and useless character of the actor Theo Rossi. He portrays a slimy scum that oppresses women and pretends to be cool. His character seems like an experience from the last century and there is no reason why the viewer should be exposed to it. We understand that such guys also exist, but this time it had absolutely no purpose in the story.


The characters are generally uninteresting and only manage to entertain every now and then. The actors basically have nothing to play but "cool mercenaries", which is a shame, as we hoped that after the film Blade Runner, Dave Bautista would get a chance to show his acting talent again. He did not get an opportunity to do so in this film. Anyway, he definitely was the most interesting of the characters, so he deserves a thumbs up. The work of make-up artists and costume designers, as well as the work with sound (whether it's a soundtrack or the overall sound quality), definitely deserves praise.



All in all, Army of the Dead is a bit of an unnecessarily long and incredibly dumb zombie movie. The characters are average and the plot is too fragmented. They never stick to a solid storyline, so the creators are unable to tell an interesting and wholesome story. On one hand, they try to develop a kind of zombie mythology, on the other hand, they completely ignore their origin. They just play with the physical laws according to how it suits them in their script.


Similarly to Godzilla vs. Kong, no one seems to be into this movie because of the story and the great script. Such type of blockbusters are for "popcorn" entertainment only, and Snyder did everything in his power to accomplish that. He took care of the really great action scenes that manage to save the whole film and make it an attractive form of entertainment. The cinemas are still closed and we honestly do not remember when was the last time we were able to enjoy such a big blockbuster, apart from Godzilla and Kong.


We give the film five and a half points out of ten. If you're just looking for dull but very eye-pleasing action that's easy to look at, be sure to check out Army of the Dead and feel free to add half a point. If, on the other hand, you expect an intelligent story and a great script with characters that grab your soul from the Army of the Dead, you must not be familiar with the work of Zack Snyder and this might be the wrong genre for you. 


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