Army of the Dead: Movie Review

"Army of the Dead" is an experience that you could easily sum up as a "jack-of-all-trades". If you're in it for the zombies and gore, then it has plenty to offer. If you're looking for a story with a heart, surprisingly enough, it was able to mix in some dramatic father-daughter dynamic to its story. And if you're looking for a slick and cool heist, then you should definitely take a seat. But like most things that offer a wide variety of experiences, "Army of the Dead" is a master of none and while it was able to be a great film overall, there are particular problem areas that limit its success.
Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, the whole area is locked down to prevent the infection from spreading further. It has been years and there has been a movement to nuke Las Vegas and to obliterate the zombie threat for good. Finally, the government succumbs and will drop a bomb during Independence day. Right after this announcement, Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) offers former mercenary Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) an offer he cannot refuse - $50 million for him to venture into the quarantine zone and to pull off a heist to get Tanaka's money inside a vault before the bomb destroys it.
If there's one aspect that we found outstanding from "Army of the Dead", it would be its zombies. The film takes a very unconventional yet very fresh take on how zombies work. Let's just say that these zombies are sentient and that changes the ball game in a lot of ways. This aspect also helps the story pivot away from our characters from endlessly fighting undead hoardes to them having a lot of time to chit chat and develop their relationships towards each other or even provide some time to make its heist aspect a lot more convincing. But even at almost 2 and a half hours long, the film fails to nail its finale - having to juggle a lot meant that it had this rushed feeling throughout its runtime. The climactic battle felt like a dud with it coming off as generic, predictable and unworthy of the time we had to wait to get there. We won't deny that audiences will get glimpses of potential greatness from the film but most of it were fleeting and never having enough time to come to fruition. If this sounds all grim, it actually isn't. "Army of the Dead" isn't perfect and kinda bloated but we cannot deny that it was one heck of an enjoyable film to watch. Zack Snyder knows how to make scenes interesting, dynamic and fun. And while our characters will make stupid decisions time and time again, that's already kinda expected right? Overall, "Army of the Dead" could have and should have been trimmed down to give enough time to its many ideas to develop further. But if you're in it for all-out action, this film will surely satisfy your fix and more.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- a jack of all trades but a master of none.

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the finale was predictable, generic, and a dud.

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