Army of the Dead
In a post-apocalyptic world, one man’s wedding night on the road leads to Las Vegas crumbling. After crashing into a military escort, a deadly zombie is unleashed upon the world. As this alpha zombie creates his hoard, he attacks Las Vegas. A few brave souls save people as shipping crates lock the zombies inside and a quarantine zone is created on its perimeter. Later, Scott, one of the survivors, is tasked with retrieving money for Mr. Tanaka from the zombie infested land with his rag-tag, hand-picked team.
Our cast contains a ton of main characters, so we are going to run through them in short form. Scott Ward is the leader of our crew. He has lost a lot due to the infection, and he is hardened because of it. Kate is Scott’s daughter. She is a volunteer at the quarantine camp and barely has a relationship with her father. Mari Cruz is a mechanic who has a past with Scott. Vanderohe is a tough customer who has known Scott since the beginning of the zombie infection. Bly Tanaka is the man responsible for organizing the heist. He’s a very rich man unwilling to lose his money, regardless of the cost.
Army of the Dead has a lot going for it. It has an interesting plot, a great cast of characters, wonderful cinematography, and plenty of gore. Right now is probably a great time to warn you that this movie is rated R. Now, I know gore isn’t for everyone, but I am pleased to say that this movie does use it tastefully and in some pretty funny scenes.
As usual, the negatives, and there’s only one big one that leads into a few small ones. Yes, this movie features a large cast and many perspectives, but the problem with a large cast was that the characters weren’t ever developed. From the intro and how they were portrayed, they had loads of background and a lot of potential to be dynamic characters. But with character interactions few and far between, this didn’t help the movie develop its characters. It also didn’t help, that since the characters didn’t get much screen time, the emotional scenes just don’t hit as hard. It’s difficult to feel anything for archetypes. This in turn does lead to some predictability of the characters’ actions.
That’s honestly about it for negatives, because there are so many more positives. For those familiar with our site, you would know that last week we reviewed The Woman in the Window, and I didn’t enjoy the pacing of it. Now, for a two-and-a-half-hour movie, I’m glad to report that this movie had great pacing. None of the scenes dragged on too long, there was a good balance of suspense and downtime. Everything just flowed smoothly. Besides the plot, the action was fun. Being a more comedic zombie movie, the gore and over-the-top violence made for some fun zombie-slaying times. Especially the opening credits. Probably the best and funniest intro I have seen in a while. Also, the small jabs at present day media and events were great to add to on the comedic atmosphere. Another aspect I enjoyed was the idea of the movie. Most zombie movies like to send the whole world into chaos, but this one left it all in Las Vegas. Having a relatively small scale made everything seem a bit more familiar and it got to show the audience how the zombies would act if they were quarantined. And to wrap it up, the plot was also pretty solid. It had a great mix of a heist movie and an action one.
Overall, if you aren’t there for character development and just for some fun zombie killing, then this is the movie for you. It has great action and comedy. But if you’re looking for a bit more character development, then this one won’t satisfy you there.
This is a fun movie to watch. The action is awesome, I really loved the zombies, and the plot is pretty good too. The cast of characters is super long, but they are all relatively well used. This movie could have quite easily been a 9.2-9.3 if the character development was a lot better. Let’s talk good before we talk bad.
I loved the premise of this movie. A zombie outbreak, paired with a heist, and a very short ticking clock. It’s fun, fast-paced, and full of gore. The gore is curious because it severs a purpose, instead of being needlessly gross. The atmosphere fluctuates throughout and the gore is used quite a bit to change the tempo or the mood of the movie. I loved the special effects with the zombies, and the tiger, Valentine, was awesome. This is a 2.5-hour movie, but the pacing was perfect. The intensity stays up, and there are enough events within the movie to make this feel quick. The only thing I can’t stand behind is the characters.
I loved the starting points of our characters. They were varied, with a ton of different characters, with some very interesting traits. They seemed like well-thought-out molds. The problem is, they didn’t ever break out of those molds. The character development is nearly invisible, a risk with such a large cast of characters. It makes a couple scenes fall so flat on their face, and it’s the movie’s only downfall. We get some scenes that are built to feel emotional, and the connection to the characters just isn’t there. I would have loved a lot more background information on the characters, and it’s a lot harder to watch without it.
This is a pretty fun movie with a great plot. I would have loved a total rewrite of the character development, but the rest of the movie is nearly flawless. The characters are so bad it almost makes things confusing at times, and I felt like I missed pieces of character information. I watched it a second time because I was convinced I missed something, but I did not.
This movie was really hard for me to decide my feelings on. On the one hand, I thought the action and overall premise were interesting and well-executed. On the other hand, the film had poor character development, storylines that go nowhere, and uneven pacing. To start with what I liked, the action was amazing! There were so many cool action scenes that were well choreographed and Zack Snyder’s cinematography had some really interesting shots that brought the scenes to life and gave a lot of impact to the big fight scenes. The setup is quite interesting with a zombie outbreak being contained in Las Vegas and a group of mostly former soldiers tries to pull off a heist before a nuke is sent in on the city. If that setup doesn’t intrigue you I’m surprised and I think the film does a good job being both a zombie and a heist film with many tropes from each. The intro was really cool and without dialogue gave a really good idea of what their “zombie wars” were like and it also included cool action and a way for us to meet some of our characters. I thought that the acting was also pretty good for the most part with the standouts being Scott played by Dave Bautista, who is the leader and our protagonist and I just felt that he conveyed a lot of emotions in most scenes and could still be comedic. The other two standouts were Dieter played by Matthias Schweighlofer who was the safecracker and Marianna Peters played by Tig Notaro as each was quite funny and stole each scene they were in.
On the negative side of things, I thought that the characters were very underdeveloped and just not well utilized. Other than the characters I mentioned the rest are for the most part forgettable to the point where I couldn’t remember their names while watching the film. Most of the emotional character scenes didn’t really hit as I didn’t feel like I knew these characters well enough to care about their emotional conflicts and it just fell flat for me. Without spoiling anything I felt that they had some pointless storylines in the film that go nowhere and maybe they are waiting for a future installment but some of my questions I wish I had answers for in this film. There were a few plot holes and conveniences in the film and while most didn’t bug me there were a few that had me scratching my head. My last major criticism is that I felt that the front half of the film was much better paced and knew how to keep me engaged whereas later on in the film towards the middle I started getting bored and it seemed to slow down longer than I would’ve liked.
All in all, I’m glad I saw this film and it was a fun action zombie/heist film that I enjoyed and would recommend to people to watch if you just want a big blockbuster type film that you can have fun with. So hop on Netflix and see for yourself.