7.5/10 My 10th Most Anticipated Film of 2021, “Army of the Dead” is director Zack Snyder’s second film within two months (following “Zack Snyder’s Justice League”) and is on equal level to the aforementioned film. Snyder is one of the best visual storytellers we have working today and is generally able to get exposition across visually as opposed to through forced dialogue, particularly in his opening credits montages. He is a better director than writer however, as this film’s shortcomings are almost all exclusively through the script. In regards to those problems, without getting into spoilers, there are many moments that don’t make sense, are devoid of logic, allow characters to get places that would be nearly impossible for them to, introduce things like robot zombies but with no explanation of them whatsoever, have characters make the dumbest decisions imaginable, let characters turn into zombies quickly after being bit but much slower if they are an important character, etc. One character who gets bit doesn’t even realize it which seems a little hard to believe since getting bit enough to have permanent teeth marks in your skin would definitely be something one would feel. Several moments happen just to progress the plot but not because they are actually realistic or feasible. Supporting characters don’t get much development and the rapid fire introduction of the team of characters gave me flashbacks to all of the characters’ introductions in “Suicide Squad”. There is a zombie tiger which is awesome but even that goes unexplained. If human zombies biting animals makes them zombies then wouldn’t there be more animal zombies besides the lone tiger? Or do animal zombies only bite other animals? But if that is the case then how did the first animal zombie come to be? If you think too hard you are going to have problems with this film as this is definitely one to turn your brain off for. That being said, there is a lot that worked here that I absolutely loved about this film. Snyder kicked off his career with what might be his best film, 2004’s remake of “Dawn of the Dead”, which holds up very well to this day. As far as I am aware, this was the first film to introduce fast zombies, as opposed to the previously established slow zombies that George A. Romero created. I’ve seen all of Romero’s zombie films and tons of zombie films in general and the slow moving ones never seemed like a threat to me. The introduction of zombies that could sprint after our lead protagonists finally made me fear for the characters we were rooting for. Almost 20 years later, Snyder continues to evolve what zombies can be and I love how he keeps upping the ante. The zombies of this film now have differing intelligent levels and have a hierarchy of command. They can communicate, they can reproduce, they can assemble, they can hibernate, etc. Seeing the evolution of zombies is extremely creative and adds tension and stakes to our story. The action is badass and a lot of fun. The visuals are amazing, which is the case for every single Snyder film. The score is solid and this might be the best soundtrack of 2021 so far. Yes, Snyder’s musical choices are always a bit on the nose (“Zombie” by The Cranberries is the guiltiest culprit here) but him bringing back Richard Cheese for the opening credits (a nod to using his “Down with the Sickness” cover in “Dawn of the Dead”), “Suspicious Minds” and more make for a joy for your ears as much as your eyes. The film is two and a half hours but is exciting and entertaining the entire time so you never grow bored. The “fun factor” this film has cannot be understated. Several characters are memorable and much like “Dawn of the Dead”, Snyder goes with a more realistic ending as opposed to the “happily ever after” model that many Hollywood films devolve into. Despite its flaws, this is one Army you should gladly sign up for if you are a fan of the zombie genre or highly entertaining, stylized action flicks.

#OceansAte / #NowYouEatMe / #NoWynnSituation / #Hellagio / #PaidRunner2049 / #BetOnBlackOrDead

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