Zack Snyder has taken a break from superhero movies to come back to the zombie farm for Army Of The Dead, a zombie flick that’s also a heist movie, originally conceived as a spiritual successor of Snyder’s own 2004 Dawn Of The Dead remake, but over time becoming his own distinct thing, while it stewed in development hell until Netflix picked it in 2019.
While Las Vegas is plagued by a zombie epidemic, a group of mercenaries is crazy enough to try pulling the absurd and hugely risky feat of going into the quarantined zone to pulls off the biggest heist ever conceived, and do it before the government drops a nuclear bomb on the area.
This sounds like a great recipe for a bombastic, excessive good time… but it isn’t.
Putting aside that the movie is not so full of action as it marketed and presented, it’s a flawed execution of a good premise, one that’s also very long (2 hours and a half) and totally feels like it, even more as it feels unclear on what exactly it wants to pull off, not helped by the fact there are tonal inconsistencies; figures when it feels so conflicted between almost being Zombieland or a more Romero-style zombie film.
It’s frustrating, because it has some interesting, noteworthy variations and additions to the zombie mythos, it does live up the title in that regard, the actions scenes are quite good, there’s even some decent humour. There’s something to it, but it tries to pack too much stuff in and it never fully “clicks” because of it.
We’ll see more regardless, as Snyder wants to do a sequel, and Netflix already greenlit two prequels, in form of a film and an animated series, so maybe something better could come out of it.