Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★★

it's a little hard to objectively rate this film. my partner and i risked our first in-theater experience since october 2020, and it was largely a bust: in addition to the flagrant violations of my state's covid/mask laws (violations emboldened, no doubt, by the cdc's recent insanity w/r/t to lessening mask protocols), people have only gotten less well behaved watching movies in a crowd. i should have guessed this, but it turned out a year of watching tv at home has turned EVERY screen into someone's home theater. no, i would prefer you didn't mst3K your own dialogue during scenes you don't like, total stranger. and if you'd refrain from singing along with the needle drops, that'd be super, mmm'kay? so i was a little distracted, is what i'm saying.

but my initial reactions?

1) this is the MOST zack snyder movie ever made.
2) it also maybe fucking rules so fucking hard.

it's indulgent and sincere and cynical and sappy and bloated and relentless. i have NO IDEA how the general public will respond. it’s as weird and personal for Snyder as sucker punch; the fact that he also serves as his own dp makes this feel even more like a $90-million art project for him.

it doesn't all come together, but then again, it never does for snyder, does it? you'll break your neck whiplashing from absolutely unhinged action-horror chaos to surprisingly maudlin heart-to-hearts. and that self-shot cinematography is...interesting: he shoots this gory action epic with only natural light, favoring gauzy handheld camera takes that recall student-film terrence malick (think the kansas farm scenes from man of steel, and you'll be in the right ballpark).

yet that balance of insane and sincere, of artistic and egregious, is his modus operandi. same as it ever was.

i'll be watching it again on the netflix premiere.