MOVIE REVIEW: We critique Netflix's 'Army of the Dead'

Zack Snyder returns to the world of zombies for the first time since 2004’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake – a film that, despite its glowing reputation, I wasn’t a fan of.

After his well documented issues with Warner Bros helming ‘Justice League’ , Netflix have given Snyder, also on writing duties, complete control to realise his apocalyptic vision.

‘Army of the Dead’ starts with a crash, before transitioning into the traditional majestic Snyder musical opening credits sequence, and rarely lets up from there.

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We get straight into the simplistic plot – a gang of mercenaries’ race against time to enter a zombie-ridden Las Vegas to seize the ultimate payday – and are given short, sharp introductions to the cast.

Despite the no messing about attitude, the film clocks in at two-and-a-half hours and would have benefited from uncharacteristic restraint from Snyder.

Dave Bautista’s stoic, grizzled Scott Ward is the most fleshed out of the ensemble with the others, as cool as many of them are – particularly Omari Hardwick’s Vanderohe – little more than cyphers to keep the action going.

But the zombie takedowns are a joy to watch with hordes of the undead lining up to feast on our antiheroes.

And these zombies are more intelligent and nimble than any ever seen before. With haunting gargling war cries and put into categories like “shamblers” and “alphas”, they pose a relentless threat – there’s even a zombie tiger, while one antagonist rides a horse.

Snyder dimly lights many of his dusty, grimy looking scenes which lends his film a gritty feel, despite its $70 million-plus budget, and the addition of refugee camps and walled-off areas will strike a chord with many.

A genuine zombie blockbuster that even outdoes the nearly three times the cost ‘World War Z’, ‘Army of the Dead’ is insane, inventive for the genre and iconic enough to warrant its teased sequel.

What are your thoughts on ‘Army of the Dead?’ How does it rate on the zombie movie scale?

Pop me an email at ian.bunting@reachplc.com and I will pass on your comments – and any recommendations you have – to your fellow readers.

Bobby Pearson contacted me to say: “Give ‘Without Remorse’ on Amazon Prime Video a go; it’s gripping stuff and Michael B. Jordan is great in it.”

● ‘ Army of the Dead’ is screening on Netflix now.

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