Noob Reviews: Army of the Dead
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Army of the Dead?
Released only a few days ago, earlier in May, Army of the Dead is the latest Zack Snyder Dead film to hit our screens.
After a U.S. military transport is caught up in an accident with an oncoming civilian vehicle, its mysterious payload manages to escape and begins to infest those sent to guard it. One by one, as the military personnel fall, the ranks of the zombie horde begin to bolster and make their way towards Las Vegas.
Skipping forward, Las Vegas has fallen. The U.S. military has just about been able to contain the threat by sealing off Las Vegas from the rest of America. And Scott Ward - a survivor of the initial outbreak - is approached by former casino owner ly Tanaka. Who is willing to pay Scott and a team of his choosing $200 million if they go over the quarantine wall and clear his casino’s vault of the millions of untraceable currency located within.
Unfortunately, what seems like a straightforward and simple(ish) mission soon descends into chaos and anarchy as the team quickly discovers beyond the quarantine wall. There are no longer just the basic shambling zombies, everyone thought. But a more advanced (and powerful) breed of alpha zombies that have heightened senses, agility and strength. A species of zombies that rule over Las Vegas as their own. Needless to say, the theft the team had planned does not go to plan for long.
… Oh, and did I mention the zombie tiger? No? Ah, okay then, there is also a zombie tiger named Valentine.
What type of genre is the film?
Army of the Dead is definitely a horror film at its core but has heavy elements of both action and crime thrown into the mix.
What age rating is Army of the Dead?
Army of the Dead has an age rating of 18.
How long is Army of the Dead?
Army of the Dead is two hours and twenty-eight minutes long.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can also find Army of the Dead on Netflix here.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Ana de la Reguera (Maria Cruz)
Dave Bautista (Scott Ward)
Nora Arnezeder (Lily)
Omari Hardwick (Vanderohe)
Theo Rossi (Burt Cummings)
For a complete cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think about Army of the Dead?
Since first seeing the trailer for Army of the Dead a few months ago, when it was first teased, I have been very excited about watching Army of the Dead as not only do I love the X of the Dead franchise, but I love a really good horror film too. Needless to say, Army of the Dead lived up to the hype.
What at first seems reminiscent of Resident Evil: Extinction or I Am Legend (to an extent) soon unfolds into its own beautifully choreographed story with heavy elements of both horror and action. While at the same time drip feeding in just the right amount of crime and human interest elements. For example, you explore the relationships between the team members - such as how they met each other. And what they have been doing since their initial escape. And Scott attempts to build bridges and reconnect with his daughter (Kate) after their relationship fell apart. Each story arc is handled so precisely and is so finely tuned that everything you learn has a purpose and provides something to the overall story instead of just being mindless filler.
When it comes to the filming locations, the semi-destroyed Las Vegas in the process of been reclaimed by the desert is fantastic. With the crumbling high rises, decaying structures and derelict casinos - there is so much variation in such a small area. The fact that most of the film takes place during the day and in well-lit areas is also a nice touch as you can truly see and appreciate the vast scope of the city and its surrounding area. Following on nicely from this point, the same level of care and attention to detail that went into the locations and set pieces has also gone into the team’s wardrobe and the equipment they use. Whether it be makeshift weapons or automatic weapons they brought with them, all of the props throughout the film seem to feel right and fit nicely into the moment - with nothing too outlandish or over the top to hand to use. The team must either rely on the equipment they brought in or what they find around them.
Regarding the acting, a few negative reviews stated they found the acting stiff and awkward. Although I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion, I personally have to disagree and thought the acting was on point. As I mentioned above, with the fantastic way in which the characters are presented and how the story is laid out, the actors had a lot to work with. I found each of the characters to be both likeable and worthy of dislike as their actions demanded. Dave Bautista did a fantastic job as the main character, and I really loved the camaraderie that flourishes between Ludwig and Vanderhoe, even though they do not get off to the best of starts. How the cast brings to bear their various personalities and energies is refreshing to see, and there is never a moment of screentime wasted. Even the alpha king and queen, without any dialogue - have a unique way of relaying their emotions through their body language alone. And this is not even mentioning the brilliant and almost surgical choreography that was so sharp. And executed (for the most part) so flawlessly throughout the film. Whether it be melee fights, gunfights or parkour.
Overall, just zombie tiger, zombie tiger and zombie tiger.
Sorry, what I meant to say was overall, the film is a fantastic two hour and thirty-minute ride that sets a pace and sticks to it. For me, the time flew by, and I loved every minute of it. And can not speak highly enough about the film. Whether you are an action fan or a horror film, it is definitely well worth a watch and hopefully will be something you enjoyed as thoroughly as I did.
What rating would you give Army of the Dead?
I would rate Army of the Dead as a solid 5 out of 5 bananas.
Whether it be an action-packed, zombie-slaying bank heist of a film, you are looking for. Or something with more intimate and down to earth human elements - such as coping with the aftermath of a zombie infestation. Or the exploration of man’s self-destructive greed for more. Army of the Dead explores many deep and thought-provoking areas whilst also going full speed with action sequences that will leave you breathless and wanting more.
Army of the Dead is a fantastic Zack Snyder follow up to 2004’s Dawn of the Dead that I can highly recommend to anyone who enjoys their action and/or horror films.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Army of the Dead and would like to check it out yourself, to form your own opinion, you can find it on Netflix here.