Detailed And Honest — Army Of The Dead 2021 Review — Awesome Definition
Welcome to Awesome Definition and today we are going to do a detailed and honest review of Army of The Dead 2021. some no nonsense but exquisitely executed action sequences Army of The Dead directed by Zack Snyder, is a firm that was announced as an idea to the public in 2007. After several production hassles and more or less the concept of another Zombie movie, major production houses like Universal and Warner Brothers turned it down. Snyder thought of revisiting the same concept but this time Netflix came into the picture to purchase the distribution rights of the film.
Zack Snyder is the man who adapts graphic novels and has been a part of the DC Universe who recently released his version of Justice League. It’s important to note that army of the dead is not far away from Snyder’s wheelhouse, it is probably what he is most familiar with as he made his directorial debut in 2004 with a Zombie apocalypse film titled Dawn of The Dead. Army of The Dead focuses on Zombies causing absolute havoc in Las Vegas leading to military intervention and quarantining the city in order to restrict the mobility of those zombies.
As a plan is being devised by the government to eliminate the zombies strategically. A casino owner approaches Scott Ward a former mercenary played by Dave Batista and offers him 50 million dollars in exchange for stealing 200 million from underneath the Las Vegas strip before the city is nuked by the US Government.
The task force that is assembled, the mission at hand and whether the team can get out of the city within a 32-hour window before Las Vegas becomes dust forms the storyline of Army of The Dead. Also, they have scary zombies in their way who are organized as any capable combat group as well. Here’s we telling you the good and bad aspects of the film so that you guys can ultimately decide whether you want to watch Army of The Dead on Netflix or not.
The Underwhelming Aspects
The length the film is close to 2 hours and 30 minutes long but this is a polarizing debate whether or not people feel that the running time was justified. From a storytelling standpoint the film’s agenda is very clear to explore whether the heist in a zombie filled Las Vegas will be successful or not. An aspect of Zack Snyder movies is that he loves his world so he explores it both visually and through his characters, sometimes diverging the core focus as well. Of course, die fans of Snyder’s filmography will be unfazed by the running time but analytically we can understand how 15 to 20 minutes of the film could have easily been chopped off.
Army of The Dead is very emotionally distant and its biggest selling point are its technical features which we will come to later. The most uncomfortable aspect of this film probably is the writing, several instances of funny dialogues actually just come across as hacky and generic dialogues like “easy peasy japanesey” or reckoning discussions of grilled cheese sandwiches or tofu rolls don’t really generate any form of laughter. We understand the intention to be silly while the dread exists around characters but we don’t remember laughing at any point in this film.
While the film checks the box of inclusivity with a diverse cast it does resort to integrating commentary of the current state of United States of America. Both socially and politically this often comes across as forced rather than a back and forth between characters that flows naturally from the abuse of power. The lack of freedom and the desensitization of violence in America, all of these aspects are brushed upon but not successfully fleshed out.
Soundtrack and Opening Sequence
The one thing that we will always be obsessed with when it comes to Zack Snyder films is his juxtaposition of music and visuals. There were literally goosebumps thinking about when “Returns a King” plays in 300 and marks Leonidas worthy of being a King or probably one of the favorites, the opening credits of one of Zack Snyder’s most underrated films Watchmen as the “Times They Are Changing” composed by Bob Dylan plays in the background.
There is a beautiful contrast of music and visuals full of dread that exists in Army of The Dead from Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” as zombies create havoc all over the city to Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” as the team gets ready for the mission. It perfectly works for the film and its pitch while “Zombie” by the Cranberries can be a little on the nose regarding what the film focuses on. We absolutely fell in love with the opening sequence and the soundtrack of this movie’s cinematography and special effects. Zack Snyder is more or less doing every major portfolio for this film, he is the director, writer and cinematographer of this movie. He also has formulated its screenplay and the film visually spectacular aerial wide shots of the city that has basically become ruins, really capture the audience’s attention.
Special Effects and CGI
You may find the individual shots in this film a little uncomfortable almost like a completely blown out bulky effect that blurs the background but it is inconsequential compared to the otherwise mesmerizing shots. The makeup department especially needs to be complimented for how they have designed the zombies coming across as uniquely and creative, as there are so many zombie films that it can literally mimic.
What we love about the opposition in this case is that there is a sort of hierarchy and organization to the zombies that otherwise doesn’t exist in movies or series. Mostly they are flailing their arms around and walking slowly whereas in this case it is an organized unit led by its Alphas. What is insane about the CGI incorporated in the film is that the pilot in the film played by Tig Notaro, has actually been digitally placed among the characters due to the allegations against Chris D’Elia. The production company had to remove his part and shoot the same sequences individually and integrate it into the world. Other than probably one or two moments you can literally not make out that she didn’t shoot with the fellow actors. A testament to the strides of technology in film.
While there are moments where the cast does shine and AnaDeLa Reguera as Maria Cruz was exceptional in the little part that she had and even Omari Hardwick as Vanderohe had some badass sequences. It is without a doubt that Dave Batista keeps this ship afloat. As previously mentioned that certain characters are gimmicky and over the top, Batista as Scott Ward is probably one of the most grounded in reality and convincing. A lot of people only assume that Dave Batista to be either the guy we love to see do the Batista Bomb in WWE or Drax from Guardians of Galaxy, but you would be surprised to notice the range he possesses as an actor.
Even in an emotionally distant film like Army of The Dead, he still convincingly showcases a vulnerable side. Even if you look at his small appearance as Sapper Morton in Blade Runner 2049, he leaves an impression with his acting performance. Unpopular opinion but we think he possesses much more range as an actor as compared to the international superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Hands down he is the hero of the film and carry most of the film on his shoulders
Gruesome and Unexpected Action and Twists
Army of The Dead is blood, gore and zombies galore so it is the wish of anyone wanting a no-nonsense R-Rated action film coming true. What is brilliant is that the action is gruesome but unexpected as well in moments reminding us of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones, where we don’t know what’s going to happen next and which character will die and who will live. This is something which is a plus point for the film that it has the ability to shock you while showcasing exceptional action sequences. Others may feel it takes away characters that you start to fall in love with very quickly. The dimly lit alleyway which includes the first sign of combat with the zombies or the mutated tiger mauling a character, there are so many moments of just unapologetic and extreme action.
On a side note we just want to say how irritating Kate was in the film. As a character on this mission she has nothing to do and really derailed the plot and goal at hand and risked everyone’s life. When we think about Snyder’s own Dawn of The Dead, it’s far more superior than Army of The Dead and despite it being 17 years old it still stands the test of time. However, our favorite of zombie films produced is Shaun of The Dead with Simon Pegg directed by Edgar Wright which is absurd but absolutely hilarious. We’ll conclude by saying this that this is in no way Snyder’s top 3 or top 4 films. The movie is enjoyable like any popcorn zombie action film, it’s visually spectacular but emotionally distant, a carefree fun experience but as an audience we’ve seen better.