I love zombie movies, but I’ll be the first one to admit that the majority of them are astoundingly similar, usually devolving into seige movies. Army of the Dead combines the tried old zombie movie and squishes it together with a old fashioned heist movie and creates something new and interesting.
This Zack Snyder flick finds Dave Bautista and a pack of disposables hired to go into the zombie infested ruins of Las Vegas to steal money from a casino vault before the city is destroyed by a nuclear bomb.
So, in addition to turning a zombie movie into a heist flick, the movie also does the unthinkable and gives the zombies a proto-society with rules and a leader so the undead actually have a motivation beyond just eating people.
While I would not call Army of the Dead a great movie, it is different enough and irreverent enough to give it a recommend. This movie has a lot of strengths, chief among them is the cast. Each of them bring something new and interesting to the role, including Dave Bautista who is charming without even trying. Tig Notaro was inserted into the movie post-production which I believe was a good move. Notaro should be in more things.
Army of the Dead does a lot of fun things like bringing in zombie tigers and giving the zombies actual character traits. Heck, in certain instances, I found myself actually rooting for the zombies over the humans.
While it brings in interesting ideas and fun characters, Army of the Dead does occasionally look cheaply shot. The color pallet, though nowhere near as drab as Snyder’s superhero movies, is still dull, particularly in the outdoor shots.
Still, I enjoyed this movie. It’s inventive, it’s joyful, it is quite unpredictable in places, and it’s different.
Most of all, Army of the Dead is fun and it doesn’t waste your time with filler or melodrama.
It’s not great cinema, but it’s fun cinema.