Zack Snyder has come a long way since his full-length debut in 2004, good or bad Dawn of the Dead, an exciting remake of the classic by George A. Romero. in the Army of the DeadSnyder returns to his roots with an explosive, action-packed, and bloody goodbye that largely lives up to expectations.
Although burdened by an unnecessarily long running time of two and a half hours, Army of the Dead is a lot of fun for all of the reasons zombie movies make. The plot is simple: a group of mercenaries are hired to break into a quarantined Las Vegas and extract $ 200 million from a casino vault before the US government drops a nuclear weapon on the city to kill the thousands of zombies kill those trapped in it.
The catch: not all zombies are pointless carnivores.
Though Snyder tends to be a director who loves or hates him, he’s a filmmaker who knows how to get action and do it well – and arguably best at straightforward and R-rated genre fare. The Dawn of the Dead Remake is one of the best zombie films ever made Army of the Dead doesn’t quite offer the same sleek, reckless, and humorous storytelling that made this so effective that it still has a lot going for it.
The sympathetic Dave Bautista makes headlines about the largely nameless cast and serves as a charming, zombie-killing protagonist. Despite the lower star power, the rest of the cast is very effective and makes for a worthwhile ensemble. Tig Notaro, who was added in post-production to replace the nefarious Chris D’Elia, is an outstanding player, while Matthias Schweighöfer is more than amusing.
More important, Army of the Dead has several well-staged zombie action sequences and a healthy dose of over-the-top gore. While Snyder doesn’t take full advantage of its Vegas setting – aside from a darkly hilarious opening sequence, the film is largely humorless – it more than makes up for it with a lot of blood and brain spattering violence.
Sure, the film could and should have been 30 minutes shorter, but Army of the Dead is a brutal, bloody and well-made zombie action film.
Rating by Erik Samdahl, unless otherwise stated.