Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★

Time to re-play The Last of Us Part II. Can't believe it will be a year in July since it came out. Flow of time really got fucked in the lockdown, huh, who knew.

Anyway, this was rather really fun in a Zack Snyder® kind of way. He's fully in his comfort zone, unbridled by studio notes and the results are generally good (the movie opens with an inciting incident that is in part due to a blowjob, plus there's a Chekov's zombie tiger in there somewhere --- you know exactly what movie Snyder is making); although it also has many of the weaknesses a Snyder movie has: bloated runtime (I didn't enjoy the subplot of Ward's daughter), overacting by some (as much as I like Ella Purnell -- I sat through two seasons of the abysmal Sweetbitter for her -- she was simply too overzealous in most of her dialogue delivery here), simplistic dialogues, stock macho characterizations typical of the genre (a couple defy that and rise above, and there is a general attempt to give each one a personality a la Aliens or Predator).

I have an affinity for siege movies, and zombie movies by their very nature, offer plenty of siege opportunities which make for good action set pieces. And this movie offers those in spades. Plus wrapping a proto-heist movie within the zombie world was interesting. It delivers on the action that its premise promises (I did not mean to phrase it like that) and Snyder is a great visual director (if there is one thing the world agrees on, it is that the dude knows how to put up a shot on screen). The spectacle (especially the prologue which is great table setting) is what sells this movie. And when things kick into high gear in the third act and bodies start falling, that's when it goes from good to really very good.

And Bautista is great, too. He's turning into (if not already) quite a good actor, and not just good for a wrestler. The cast as a whole works well, some stuck within the confines of their limited characterizations, but still enjoyable to watch.

Also, I kinda admire Snyder's attempt to building an actual life around zombies, something I haven't seen a lot of in my limited experience watching zombie movies, even if a bit more fleshing out would help (which seems to be his plan given all the other side projects in production around this franchise). The zombies here have a hierarchy going on, and yes, there are zombies here who fuck. As Jason Mamoa would say, My man.

Overall, a good old time at the moving pictures.

Also, really bold to end your zombie movie on Zombie. Not a criticism.

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