Hello Friday and hello to this movie review! I recently watched this movie with some friends (we were all on a call and pressed play at the same time, the wonders of online movie watching) and wanted to share my review. Don’t worry, I kept this review completely spoiler free! I do call out some things that really annoyed me at the very end, just watch out for the spoiler-line and avoid that area if you don’t want anything ruined for you.
Army of the Dead is an American horror survival movie, produced by Zack Snyder, and released May of this year in theatres, as well as on Netflix. The film stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, and Garret Dillahunt.
Upon release to Netflix, it became one of the most watched original Netflix films and earned $1 million at the box office. Apparently, there are also two prequels planned (Army of Thieves and an animated series called Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas) for release on Netflix.
The film went through some unusual changes last minute when an ex-cast member Chris D’Elia was accused of sexual misconduct. Snyder decided to replace D’Elia with Notaro using green screens and CGI.
The plot of the movie is set after a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, which is now walled off. A group of mercenaries is contracted by a businessman to break into the zombie city to recover millions of dollars from a vault days before the government plans to bomb the city to wipe out the zombies. Hijinks happen.
Dave Bautista is my new favourite person. Just throwing that out there first.
Otherwise, this is a fun movie. It’s not a challenging movie, it’s like a bag of chips. It’s satisfying but isn’t really filling, or memorable.
I think that if I had watched it by myself, I might not have finished it, but I had my friends to joke with throughout which really helped. As it is though, this wouldn’t be a movie I would ever rewatch or really remember months from now, I don’t think.
Again, this movie was a fun, silly, shallow zombie flick. There are zombie strippers, tigers, smart zombies, dumb zombies, and a lot of character tropes. Not to mention a heavy sprinkling of explosions everywhere. Which means that there isn’t really anything unique going on except the small hints of aggressive robots that are never explained. I also felt like it was rather long (it runs 2.5 hours), when it didn’t need to be, but I think that’s a Snyder thing more than anything.
Despite how long the movie was, the characters (besides Bautista, who is an absolute gem and I will defend with my life) don’t have any depth and are more one-dimensional than anything.
Should you watch this movie? Sure, I mean, why not? It’s not an amazing movie, nor is it a bad one. Just don’t go into it expecting something that spectacular or groundbreaking.
HUGE SPOILERS SERIOUSLY
END OF MOVIE SPOILERS
One thing that always bothers me in movies is when a character is thrown into the mix and everyone just lets them come along, even though they ruin everything. In this movie, it was Bautista’s in-movie daughter who demands to join the team so she can save her friend who was captured by the smart zombies. Then she just causes problems and, in the end, because the get-away ride had to wait for her and said friend, everyone except her ends up dead. Including the friend she went to rescue. The team is dead, her dad is dead, the get-away driver is dead, her friend is dead. And it’s just her, Ms. Baggage. Ugh.
Next: for a team knowing that they need to collect $200 million dollars, they didn’t really pay attention to logistics. Seriously. They brought five little duffel bags. For $200 million dollars. I don’t know why that bothered me so much. Maybe it’s the planner in me, but I was so mad!