In Army Of The Dead, director Zack Snyder returns to the Dead series of movies to bring us the latest instalment of the ongoing zombie apocalypse, which brings Dave Bautista (future WWE Hall Of Famer & Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Drax) front and centre to try and sort out the undead once and for all.
Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.
And so begins probably the grandest in scale zombie genre movie and most outrageous in terms of action. Army of The Dead falls somewhere in a mix of Oceans 11, Escape From New York and Aliens in a slightly bloated, balls to the wall blood, guts and brains zombie mash that will keep most zombie genre fans happy to the end.
First and foremost, Army Of The Dead allows Dave Bautista to transcend into full blown movie star leading man and after so much promise shown in the GOTG/MCU movies as Drax, Mr Hinx in Spectre and as Everest in Hotel Artemis, it’s long overdue time that he got the plaudits he rightly deserves after putting in the hard work. Unlike his fellow former WWE stars in The Rock and John Cena, there’s something a little more rough around the edges, that makes him just that bit more exciting to watch.
The rest of the ensemble that Snyder has put together is rather excellent with Matthias Schweighöfer as Dieter a real highlight and Ella Purnell as Scott’s (Bautista) daughter Kate Ward giving off real Ripley vibes throughout makes this a superb addition to the genre.
However, as with Zack Snyder movies, once again the proceedings end up being somewhat bloated with a ‘Zack Snyder Cut’ worthy run time for a film of this ilk, clocking in at just shy of 2 and half hours, makes it at times a long haul watch. Plus at about the half way point as the action starts to take over, the plotting and the script simply follows the zombie movie tropes that we have seen, time and time again, apart from Zombie Tiger! Which just doesn’t get enough screen time. The race against time nuclear missile sub plot is wasted too, featuring as something of an afterthought and the fallout from it (Pun intended) is almost non existent. Still not as bad as Indiana Jones 4 though.
However, don’t let that put you off Army Of The Dead as when the inevitable Man Vs Zombie kicks off, all hell breaks loose like you couldn’t imagine and it’s one of those smörgåsbord of bullets, blood and brains spectacles that you don’t want to miss.