Film Review: Like a Zombie, ‘Army of the Dead’ is Mindless, Sometimes Fun

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CHICAGO – If you’ve ever worked retail or in the service industry, you’re aware of the mental and physical state lovingly known as “Cruise Control”. That’s when the crippling monotony of everyday life forces our body into a sort of energy-saver setting that is meant to keep us from having psychotic mental breaks on a semi-regular basis. A sort-of zombie mode, if you will.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

That is why, for some primal and subconscious reason, zombie films continue to be popular. The mythology established, along with the social and political commentary often present, keep the genre fresh, or as fresh as decomposing corpse can be at least. Zack Snyder revisits the world of zombies with his latest music video turned movie, Army of the Dead, where we encounter things like aliens, androids and zombie tigers… oh my!

You read me correctly, all of the above can be found in this film. Does it make sense? No, not in the least. Is it still fun to watch? Like a high-speed chase on live television. Snyder wrote, directed, and even created the story for Army of the Dead, which all makes sense in its own nonsensical way. He always places a high emphasis on the cinematic quality of his work. It has beautiful cinematography and is expertly choreographed. Every shot has a purpose and a flow that leans more towards pageantry than film, like a well-executed dance recital. The way he milks every scene, slowing down the pacing and the passage of time, is both a wondrous sight to witness and a terror to sit through. A fight sequence that would take 5 minutes in real time is artfully extended to 3 times that amount. Snyder often tries to channel the epics of old in his filmmaking style, but every minute of his over-extended runtimes are felt by the audience, not because they lack any visual element but because they tend to lack the narrative substance to back them up.

“Army of the Dead” on Netflix May 21st. Featuring Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Tig Notaro, Omari Hardwick, Theo Rossi, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Raúl Castillo. Directed by Zack Snyder. Written by Zack Snyder, Shay Hatten, and Joby Harold. Rated “R”

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Army of the Dead”

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Photo credit: Netflix

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Army of the Dead”

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