Zack Snyder has been extremely busy lately with Army of the Dead being the second movie out in the first half of this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the epic Snyder cut, but this is the best movie out of the two hands down for several reasons. Army of the Dead might be one of the best zombie movies that I have seen in a very long time. Directed by Zack Snyder it provides a new take on the zombie genre that both reinvents what the typical zombie is like while also bringing to life amazing characters that you truly care about. This is probably the best performance coming from Dave Bautista that we have seen thus far in his career. Out of all of his filmography, Bautista’s character Scott Ward is multi-layered and has a lot of range that seems both genuine and authentic. The cast is filled to the brim with excellent performances and each person brings a lot of their personality that shines through the screen. Snyder has a flare and his signature style is all over this movie. Unfortunately, the plot is very straightforward and doesn’t break any barriers with its storytelling. But the way the story is delivered brings an action-packed zombie thrill ride that will keep you glued to your seat and that’s all I asked for.
Right from the start, we are introduced to one of the best action sequences that I have seen in a movie. Working with Netflix allowed Snyder to have complete artistic freedom to tell the story he wanted. He doesn’t hold back on the brutality of zombie carnage and we are presented with gore and guts right out the gates. Many viewers will be surprised to know that Zack Snyder not only helped write and direct this movie, but he also did the cinematography for it too. He had a very clear vision of the story he wanted to tell and it felt like a passion project that he was able to have fun with. Seeing him be the cinematography behind the camera was great to see in this movie. He has a very unique style of using focus and framing the scenes that carried emotion. Each of the cast members felt like they enjoyed themselves while filming, I was able to tell that each cast member enjoyed being in this movie and gave it their all. Seeing this movie reminded me of just an overall great popcorn action movie filled with many intense moments that were frightening. Unfortunately, the tone of the movie does fall apart at some moments, especially with its long runtime. Although it didn’t perfectly blend the tones of the movie that well, it did deliver top-tier moments of action and horror. Army of the Dead is also hilarious and packs a huge bag of laughable moments that had me laughing hard. Most of the humour comes from the fantastic Tig Notaro, who kills it. Who surprisingly didn’t film anything with the other actors in the movie. She came in to recast Chris D’Elia after stories released accusing him of sexual abuse. They did a great job to make me believe she was there with everyone else. Furthermore, she was a great addition to the cast. Everything cinematic-wise was perfectly crafted and Zack Snyder was able to execute this movie with flawless skill.
Zack Snyder was able to tackle a new take on the zombie aspect and completely created something new to the genre. Multiple different types of zombies are introduced in the movie. Army of the Dead brings the biggest changes in zombies we have seen in a very long time. He introduced us to Alphas, who are very intelligent, strong and have command control over the other zombies. We see how they work as a community. This brings a new fresh take on how dangerous these zombies are to our main characters. There is also a tiger zombie named Valentine, which is one of the best things that I have seen in a zombie movie, period. With all of these new introductions of zombies, I left the movie theatre feeling that I got an amazing original story. in what otherwise would have been an unoriginal narrative of serving regular zombies that we have seen on our plates before. Snyder was able to create this beautiful sadistic unapologetic world that we are lucky enough to see more of in the future. Snyder is working on an animated show that will be in this same universe that he has made, which is incredible.
Action scenes drive the majority of the excitement in this movie and for good measure. Netflix was able to give a hefty budget of about 90 million dollars to make this movie and the budget gets paid out. Each scene looked great and the spectacle of the mayhem exploded all over the screen. The zombies looked incredible and the body horror will leave the typical horror fanatic wanting more. Each one of the crew members has memorable moments and without spoiling too much, for each one that doesn’t make it, they are sent off in a badass way. Army of the Dead will probably stand as one of the strongest action/horror movies of the year. Some scenes will leave your jaw on the floor because of the great way Snyder was able to capture the action. Of course, we do see quite a bit of his stylistic slow motion, but he doesn’t over use it as he has done in his previous work.
Overall I think that Army of the Dead is truly my new favourite zombie movie. Although it is not perfect in any sense of the word, it delivers enough action, gore, horror, humour, great characters and creative zombies that had me blown away. I was completely in love with the new take on a beloved genre and the style that Snyder was able to deliver. He knows how to make a group of characters come together and have great chemistry with each other. The cast was able to deliver excellent performances and make them relatable and fun to watch. Dave Bautista needs to get more work in the industry, for I feel he is a very underrated actor that has the potential to be in more leading roles such as this one. If it is possible, I would say check this one out on the biggest screen you can. Army of the Dead is pure bliss that transcends the zombie genre to new heights. What a wild ride!