Army of the Dead watch from here: Las Vegas, already the ultimate lake of destruction in the United States, to fall prey to a zombie plague; then as a filmmaker, you have to be somewhat perverse. Zack Snyder ( Watchmen, 300 ) does not hold back and serves the prologue to Army of the Dead, now on Netflix, as a grotesque kitsch opera steeped in bad taste.
Half-naked zombie strippers tearing hotel guests to pieces, Elvis impersonators who see a meal in everything that moves, slow-motion images full of gracefully spouting blood, and everything of course musically accompanied by a cover of Viva Las Vegas. In between, we already see the main protagonists pass in review. Funny or not, this almost stand-alone mini film is a beautiful piece of visual storytelling. And then we still have to start.
Army of the Dead
Snyder has had buckets of shit all over him in recent years. Especially for his cynical DC comic book adaptations (including Man of Steel and Justice League). In which he turned Superman into an aggressive man who is not awake from a civilian victim more or less and we suddenly have to have Batman. accept it as a nasty narcissist. Children would never want to dress like these icons again.
The opening of Army of the Dead can be seen as a sneer at its critics. He shows that he is a filmmaker with his own creative style and if you don’t like that bombast, you can switch on a different movie. It commands respect. Unfortunately, it is no longer as beautiful as that prologue, but his second zombie film – after the remake of the classic Dawn of the Dead (2004) – remains great, gross, and funny.
The plot is actually a kind of Ocean’s Twelve where the crack takes place in a post-apocalyptic Vegas. The team is headed by Scott Ward, played by former wrestler Dave Bautista who we may know as the infantile Drax from The Guardians of the Galaxy. Here too he plays an inner fat man with a small heart. That behind those muscles and tattoos lies all vulnerability, he makes surprisingly tangible with few words.
Snyder knows very well that he makes a completely moronic film, but fortunately, he takes his characters seriously. And consciously or not, because of the corona crisis, the quarantine situation in and around this Las Vegas gives a recognizable feeling of oppression. Now he still has to learn to keep the size. Just like much earlier work, Army of the Dead also suffers from an unnecessarily long playing time (no less than 2.5 hours!) And the last act is far too serious in tone. But we are also used to that from Snyder, so take it or leave it .
Director: Zack Snyder. Starring: Dave Bautista, Garret Dillahunt and Ana de la Reguera
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