Army Of The Dead: A group of mercenaries are hired to get money out of a Zombie infested Las Vegas before the city is nuked. The opening sequences are really impressive - a bio-engineered Zombie with alien DNA is being transported from Area 51 when a car crashes into the transporter, if only the car driver had a heads up. The Zombie escapes, infects soldiers and they descend on Las Vegas. Great fight scenes over the opening credits, Zombies shot, chainsawed, stabbed (by some of the mercenaries who will later come back) as they merrily munch on humans. After a wall of containers is built there are some airstrikes but the Undead remain. A motley crew enter Las Vegas to recover the money, there are Shambler Zombies (shamble and bite) and Alpha zombies who move fast and are intelligent. There is some soapish stuff about family troubles but this is enhanced by ral problems in refugee camp.
Army of the Dead is nothing more and nothing less than its trailer suggested-a end-to-end, gory battle between men and zombies, filled with mayhem and carnage.Snyder is as usual, on top of his game when it comes to stylizing even the goriest and bloodiest of scenes, bringing in elements like a full-blown zombie tiger and many other surprises to keep the audience engrossed.
My favourite scene was probably the tiger attack on Martin. One; because Martin deserved it but two; because it was one of the more prolonged violent endings for a character in the film and when I thought the camera would pan away it didn't, and we got to see the final blow and aftermath in full gory detail.
This also looks different from most zombie films, not just because it’s set in Las Vegas but because so much of it takes place in broad daylight or in otherwise brightly lit locations. And the large scale of the action and sets and of the massive zombie hordes is impressive and unlike most other smaller-scale films of this sort. World War Z is one of the few others to attempt and achieve the feel of a larger world of this sort. There are few filmmakers who can direct action as well as Snyder, or who intuitively understand the way a given character will react and perform during big action beats, and he is all-in on the action spectacle and sharply drawn characterizations for Army of the Dead. There is no nuance or subtlety here, nor is it needed. Ruthless in its direction and unapologetically old-school, the Army of the Dead is a return to the 90s era of brainless action films. I really liked the idea of there being a zombie King and Queen (complete with a pregnancy and heir to the “throne”) but then they just chop the queens head off, ending queen and baby storyline and actually causing me to start rooting for the zombies.
The movie is also frustrating as it never seems to “payoff” on the tension it sets up. For example, this zombie tiger everyone is raving about; it’s set up like there is going to be an epic battle scene between the heroes and this tiger, but it just never happens. Instead the tiger and the main human villain of the movie are wasted in a dumb mauling scene. That main human villain is another area the film fails to payoff. They set this guy up so you really, really hate him as he betrays the team over and over and gets many of them killed. You want that redemption arc where the main characters finally confront him but you never get it. Instead he get mauled by a tiger all alone and the characters he betrayed never see him again or even wonder what happened to him.
Nevertheless Zack Snyder makes a grand return to his roots, rekindling the Zombie apocalypse he started with Dawn of the Dead, his first movie back in 2004.