🎃Marcelo Becerra Nicolas🎃’s review published on Letterboxd:
¨Terry, you of all people should know, in your hotel, there´s always someone watching¨.
So Zack Snyder is kinda of a unaccomplished filmmaker, doesn´t mean this little heist movie can make millions like 50 grand if you ask me, while Army of the Dead´s overused title visualizes what this film is going to be I was hoping to see where Zack Snyder failed to connect with the viewers when he previously made Dawn of the Dead, that movie was so 2004 and so golden age pre-era Zack Snyder that this might be Snyder´s retire call since it feels like a Michael Bay production then a lighthearted fun, action packed visually adaptive Zack Snyder movie, from the racial commentary forgettable characters, immature sexual jokes and stereotypes seems the one and only Michael Bay hacked this zombie film and if that´s true then more the manor.
I don´t want to point figures here, Army of the Dead isn´t to blame for the imaginative Zack Snyder considering he´s creatively visionary with every single visual effect element whether Snyder feels the need to add visually colorful imagery and cool effects it turns out extremely ambitious and to real to even exist but Army of the Dead is a far cry from Snyder´s Dawn of the Dead which not only was a improvement over George A. Romero´s original of the same name, but was Snyder´s first influential zombie films to date and you can tell Dawn of the Dead (although dated for some) the look of that film is worthwhile and inaccurate to the original, part of what makes Zack Snyder an ambitious yet awful filmmaker is that he puts the central idea of the characters, emotions also a story that sounds good on paper. Don´t get me wrong getting cold feet while watching this film was not my fault but right after Zack Snyder packed his bags heading out of Warner Bros after he finished cleaning up Justice League seems Snyder ended up in the wrong place, wrong studio, wrong production making this zombie flick.
This film is far from perfect, it´s an exploitation driven big movie filled to the brim with gory images and zombie fetishes was not my biggest taste for the film, the behind the scenes were actually way more entertainingly impressive then the movie itself, clearly audiences have been talking about how Zack Snyder took over director of photography, how he filmed the movie (not in Las Vegas but in a green screen studio outside) it was a big dumb fun film indeed. I had no interest into what was going on since never have I seen Snyder go out of his way re-event the zombie genre in where it´s a clever little heist film. When you combine Ocean´s Eleven to an old fashioned VHS Dawn of the Dead with the seeking contrast similar to Aliens you know Zack Snyder is out with the old and out with the same business he adds in all his films.
The cast members especially are unlikable, forgettable and dry as pieces of roasted corn, none of the character development is interesting for an film with a 90 million dollar budget, the banter each character has is too boring, lazy and Dave Bautistia (a former MCU star) here to take your own interests seeing this film thinking his energetic personality playing Drax can be in this film by tricking audiences, Dave Bautistia I really feel sorry for the big ape he looks tired, bored, unaware of who he´s character is and if his socially awkward comedic Drax personality was kept in this film would´ve been worth telling about but Bautistia really tries in this film he isn´t the only one not having fun in the entire world, the cast members in this film look too bored then having loads of gunpowder fun.
Speaking of gunpowder, the film´s script is what makes this film feel so uninspired, complicated to enjoy and while the opening credits tried it´s very best getting me excited even though there´s no suspense, stakes or build-up to anything that can get me up on my feet. The whole thing was so rushed, devoted of logic and often times didn´t make much sense. I heard about the dead pixels that were presented in the film when I saw Red Letter Media´s review about the film, Mike and Jerry explained the dead pixels were part of the film´s editing mistakes or quality of the film because to me there were scenes which felt cut out, when a character is missing or doing something else felt like a cheap editing mistake cutting scenes out or could be Zack Snyder forget to shoot scenes which would make sense to me.
The fact Army of the Dead´s scenes is shocking news to me since every single scene feels like it´s missing some scenes that have rhyme or any reason, the plot of the film felt like a mid 2000´s cancelled video game adapted into this Las Vegas setting, zombie apocalypse video game then a feature length movie, the premise of the film is weaker then I thought even though the heist plot device feels cheated and a manipulative way to trick the audience into seeing another movie then an intentional heist film. Listen Zack Snyder if you want to make a heist film then call Michael Mann at least he created Heat an original black market film dressed as a nice bromance.
If I would control Netflix´s scummy corrupt business model, first thing I would do is cancel Stranger Things 4 because enough is enough, then fixing Army of the Dead because sorry guys this wasn´t my cup of smelly gunpowder bullets covered in whiskey, say whatever you want about how the premise takes the zombie genre into a whole new level because it is not. The action sequences are poorly shot, poorly executed and weren´t treated respectfully with build-up or tension was more boring and sorry Zack Snyder your mushy gore effects didn´t interest me on every level. To me this feels more like that 2014 action film Sabotage if it had extra ammo with Dawn of the Dead, a movie featuring cocky soldiers blowing stuff up with explosives also murdering people for the fun of it that are zombies.
I think the zombie genre is starting to wear thin and I have no compliant watching a zombie film, this is me being totally honest with this film also hating Zack Snyder for it was enjoyable. The cinematography choices are dreadful because I couldn´t make out what was going on and some of it feels uninteresting since there´s too many cuts and it´s fine if a zombie film shouldn´t make sense and Zack Snyder is already off to a good start after he´s been kicked out of Warner Bros for good.
The decision for Zack Snyder to replace an actor in the film is reasonable since as it turns out the original actor who was going to play Tig Notaro the helicopter pilot was a sex offender so Snyder replaced him with Tig Notaro and her performance was dumb of course but replacing the other actor with one powerful actress is right for Snyder to do despite feeling obvious. The ending was just a cheap format pitching in a sequel which I founded unoriginal and insipid and insulting. Part of what makes Army of the Dead wildly immature, poorly written, poorly shot and laughable is it doesn´t do anything original with the premise and copies other popular heist films, popular zombie films and followed the footstep team of the second Aliens film, the similarities are distracting and seems Netflix or Zack Snyder doesn´t give a crap anymore about his craft.
The visual effects are ugly then cardboard wood, just the look of this film is bland and sure the film had some colorful retrospect to it but it all feels terrible also Snyder tricking me into seeing ugly visuals blow up on small screen is a twisted middle figure to me because everything about Army of the Dead feels like a cheap 16 million dollar budget driven film then an inspiring picture influenced by the zombie genre. This did nothing for me to be honest from the forgettable characters, terrible cliches, father and daughter forced relationship, (portals, time loops, human hybrid zombies who can you know?) none of this make sense also how they explain it is so terrible.
I had fun making fun of Zack Snyder for a bit, how he embarrassed pretty much the entire cast and it´s hilarious to hear Dave Bautistia forget he´d met the replaced actor (Tia Notaro) even though Tia Notaro´s scenes are shot behind a green screen, so why was she cast in the film? why was the mushroom head ape Dave Bautistia cast in the film? he seems bored out of his mind like if he was Bruce Willis in those awful straight to video film made for no one.
I think how the zombie hybrids acting like intelligent human beings and are faster then a regular human being would run reminded me a lot of I am Legend in which the zombies have human like movements, loads of intelligent arks, reminded me a lot of that type of zombie hybrid which I only loved from the film. The fact these intelligent zombies act human like is impressive. Well the zombie make-up, look of them especially the zombie king looked like Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead (no pun intended) overall the zombie effects are worth watching but think this is a stinker.
In conclusion Army of the Dead could´ve been worthwhile from a special Zack Snyder production, the whole movie looks like a video game and it visual effects visualize it´s awful set-pieces, terrible action and horribly executed establishments and set-ups which is incredibly distasteful and lifeless. If your fan of Zack Snyder after he cleaned up the cartoon mess from Justice League then this film is for you because despite being such a huge disappointment and a loathsome soulless production it´s a pretty bland forgettable B-movie zombie film with no suspense, tension, build up or stakes it´s just loud guns, ketchup and claws that are sharper then a tiger´s teeth, overall I think this one is a slapper.