Movie review: Army of the Dead
Zack Snyder, notorious for directing hyper-aggressive and action-horror films, has introduced a new genre of zombie movies by presenting ‘Army of The Dead’. The movie takes inspiration from his debut film ‘Dawn of the Dead’ which was released back in 2004. As one of the cinematographers of the film, Snyder has again proved himself as a cinematic genius.
Written and directed by Synder, the movie, being 148 minutes long, starring Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), Lilly (Nora Arnezeder), Kate (Ella Purnell), Burt Cummings (Theo Russi), Omari Hardwick (Vanderohe), Ana de la Reguera (Maria Cruz), Matthias Schweighöfer (Dieter), Hiroyuki Sanada (Bly Tanaka), Tig Notaro (Marianne Peters), Raúl Castillo (Mikey Guzman), Huma Qureshi (Geeta), and Garret Dillahunt (Martin).
The movie commences showing a completely ruined Las Vegas which has been cut off from the outside world following a zombie outbreak. Scott Ward, a local Vegas resident who now works at a burger joint on the outskirts of his lost city, gets an opportunity to retrieve 200$ from the Zombie quarantined zone. Driven by the hope to start a new life with his daughter Kate, he assembles a team of survival experts to complete the mission; he must retrieve the cash before the ruined city is nuked by the government to cleanse the world from Zombies.
Soon after the team is assembled, Lilly warns the members of the team about the evolved zombies. She pulls out her Glock 17 and shoots Burt Cummings (Theo Russi) in the leg to present him as a sacrifice to the Alpha Queen, meanwhile, she quotes “We all keep talking about the city like it’s their prison, it’s not – it’s their kingdom” which is the crux of the movie. The Alpha Queen accepts the sacrifice, it’s only then that the team realizes that the zombies have evolved. During the heist, Scott finds himself in unfavorable conditions as his daughter Kate embarks on the mission to search for Geeta, a mother who went missing in the ruined Las Vegas. A flying nuke, an impenetrable vault, and an army of Alpha Zombies including the Zombie tiger chasing the entire team around the ruined Vegas, the movie packs in a thrilling climax as everyone fights for their survival.
There is an excellent character progression of not only the main cast but also the two different tribes of Zombies called ‘The Shamblers’ and ‘The Alphas’. The execution, cinematography and visual effects of the movie are a sight to behold. Unlike other Zombie movies, this movie shows the emotional connection among the zombies – love, empathy, pain, anger, unity – and family reconciliation which has never been shown in this genre before. Moreover, the two loyal animals of the zombie kingdom, a zombie tiger and a zombie horse, are a new addition. The horse serves as the main ride of the antagonist Zeus (Richard Cetrone).
The concept of a zombie King and Queen of the tribe and high-spirited action scenes give it an unreal touch, differentiating it from all other cliché zombie movies and TV shows.
Having said that, the movie still has loopholes that brought monotony in the movie such as unnecessary dramatic scenes between Scott (father) and Kate (daughter) and forced comedy. The story features an excruciating simple plot due to which it was highly criticized.
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