Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★★

What a glorious mess of a movie. I loved it, but I could've loved it even more.

Normally, any flaws in my boy, Snyder's, films reside at story level. Here, however, they extend to the dialogue and the cinematography. This is Snyder's coming-out party as a writer (or co-writer) of original content, and as a cinematographer, and he's definitely got a ways to go in both departments. Some of the dialogue could use polishing by a more gifted wordsmith (those satirical news segments aren't great), and a good deal of the movie is underlit. It could just be that Snyder is more used to shooting for green screens on 35mm, whereas this is his first time shooting on digital (correct me if I'm wrong). Or, this could just be a specific artistic choice that I'm not getting. Either way, there are lots of scenes with too much backlight, making the faces in the foreground difficult to see. Also, several shots seem unintentionally blurry, as if the focus puller decided to leave work early. Considering how impeccable the visuals normally are in a Snyder film, this is disappointing. Having said that, there are also, thankfully, several shots where Snyder delivers the goods we've come to expect from him.

At the end of the day, this is still a Zack Snyder film, and Zack Snyder knows how to make up for Zack Snyder's shortcomings and deliver the Zack Snyder goods. The cast is terrific, with one exception (I normally like Tig Notaro, but she's nails on a chalkboard here). Maniac's Nora Arnezeder is the MVP, delivering a star-making turn that had better gain her some more recognition. And the zombie king and queen......dear god, they are fucking magnetic whenever they're on screen. Oh God oh man oh God oh man, you'd better believe that Snyder delivers on the action and horror fronts. This is a pulse-pounding adrenaline-fueled thrill ride that doesn't scrimp on the gore. And those Snyder needle drops are always on fucking point. The fucking balls on him to choose that second-to-last song. You gotta love him!

I'm starting to just wors vomit a bunch of random praise, so I'd better stop. Obviously, I had my issues with the film, but Snyder overcame them by just being Snyder, baby.

P.S.: I don't believe in gatekeeping, but I do believe that anyone wants to watch this, but has spent a decent chunk of their life shitting on Snyder, should be forced to pay $1000 to watch this. Let's see if they really want to watch it, or if they just want to be a part of the conversation. Yeah, I'm petty.

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