After what he has done in the DC Universe I was curious to see what would come from a Zack Snyder original concept. It turns out after checking out Army of the Dead it is exactly what you should have expected, for better and worse.
Army of the Dead is set in the USA where a virus outbreak occurred in Las Vegas and the city is quarantined to contain it. After trying everything they can the government has run out of ideas so it is going to nuke the city. Because it is going to be nuked, a casino owner hires an ex-mercenary to make a team to get in to steal the money back and escape before the city is levelled.
The story is absolutely perfect for a dumb fun movie, and this is exactly what Army of the Dead offers. Despite it being dumb fun there are some interesting new ideas here. Soon after entering Vegas the team sacrifices someone by tying him up and waiting for the queen to arrive. Here we are introduced to a lineage of zombies that are smarter and work as a pack. By sacrificing someone they buy some good will allowing safe passage through the city from the smart zombies, though they still have to be careful for the dumb zombies.
The movie drags a little at times with some really long character scenes. But each of these tend to be isolated and don’t build on anything. It’s a similar issue that the DCEU films have had landing emotional scenes. They just don’t have the impact we haven’t had enough time understanding the characters’ relationships.The movie either needed more character time earlier or some of this stuff needed to be cut. Given it is over two hours already, I would have suggested cutting some of it.
Despite this stuff, the movie moves at a regular enough pace that it isn’t a major issue. Aside from a short scene at the start we don’t waste too much time with the backstory of the movie. Instead they spend the bulk of the time kicking in with the team building then execution of the plan. There are heaps of the classic twists that are pretty normal for heist movies but it’s a dumb fun movie. Just enjoy the zombie killing action for what it is.
Fundamentally the movie is an easy sell. Want to watch a zombie movie with smart zombies that know how to fight and have the help of a white tiger zombie? Then you should enjoy what Zack Snyder has put together here. I know I certainly did and want to see what could be done in a sequel or prequel.