Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★½

After really loving Snyder’s Dawn Of The Dead, my excitement was palpable for this release. My elation continued through the opening credits (which were a fantastic throwback to DOTD) but very quickly it died down once we started getting into the grit of the narrative. 

Aside from a few decent action scenes, I was absolutely bored. BORED! I am still a bit stupefied at how tedious some of this felt - so much of it could have been taken out to make the film a lean, and much more palatable, 90-120 minute film.

There were some missed setups and payoffs - a prime example being ‘The Coyote’ wasting her time explaining that all the ‘shamblers’ near the front come alive during the rain only for it to never happen. Why even explain that? 

I disliked the king/queen aspect - maybe I would have been okay with it if the zombie society was given more plot time over character exposition, mild attempts at humor, and of course, Wagner’s Gotterdamerung. 

Tonally - it’s all over the place. I think the casino heist during a zombie apocalypse is actually a neat premise - had they treated the zombie apocalypse with more gravity (maybe more The Road and less Doomsday) I would have been totally in. 

Also, something that has become increasingly prevalent in newer films is that I don’t care enough to learn any character names because none of them are charismatic enough to care about. I couldn’t name a single character from this besides ‘The Coyote’. 

Finally, the last nail in this disappointing coffin (that brought my rating down an entire star) was the use of The Cranberries song - ‘Zombie’. This is a song that is wholly not about zombies in any shape but actually about a time known as ‘The Troubles’ in Ireland where unreal, horrific tragedies took place. It felt insensitive on Snyder’s part - enough that as soon as it started playing I vicariously cringed for the rest of the run time. 

It’s almost like showing a devastating train crash on screen while ‘Locomotion’ is playing over it... just absolutely and entirely missing the point.

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