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‘Army of the Dead’ Film Review: As Brain Dead as the Undead

Everything We Did, All Those People We Saved, Look What It Got Us. What If Just Once, We Did Something For Us?

Have you ever wanted to enjoy something more? Through a lengthy two and nearly half an hour runtime Army of the Dead both impressed while also disappointing me, seeing the potential that was wasted.

Overview

After a zombie outbreak takes place in Las Vegas, the zone has finally been contained.

Now the U.S. plans to nuke the area, hopefully ridding them of the undead. However, a team is tasked with the heist of ages. They must sneak into the zone before the area is destroyed and escape with the cash.

Getting the Team Together

Arguably the first half of this adventure is the most enjoyable. A zombie heist movie is pretty creative, and it gave us some great moments.

Recruiting the critical roles so that the job can go off without a hitch is fun to watch, and all of the characters, although one-note, work together well.

I Wasn’t Expecting This

When the team fully assembles, this film is engaging. The way all the characters bounce off each other is entertaining. Some having greater chemistry than others, but ultimately everyone has good moments.

The problem lies when the group is split up or separated. Instantly the film loses its charm, and if you’ve ever watched a movie like this, the closer we get to the end, the fewer characters we get to appreciate.

One of the clear standouts is Dave Bautista as Scott Ward. I didn’t anticipate great acting in this film, and he surprised me.

This Shouldn’t Even Be Happening

To fully enjoy this flick, your suspension of disbelief must permeate throughout. The bad situations the group ends up in could have been easily evaded. So much so that it seemed like they avoided using their brains at times.

It’s difficult to watch because, in a few instances, you’ll be yelling at your tv, “why didn’t she say something!?” Turning off your brain will help, but if you were looking for some common sense by pros in their field, Army of the Dead is severely lacking in that area.

Predictable

Army of the Dead seemingly wants to stand out in its genre. However, they end up falling into the same tropes as every other zombie flick. You can tell the creators had their hearts in the right place, and there was tons of potential. However, they drop the ball in the second half of the film.

How Long Is This???

Wow, this is an incredibly long movie with no business almost pushing two and a half hours. At its best moments, the pacing feels fine, but at its worse, it drags to the point of exhaustion.

I often don’t want to turn off a film where I have some fun watching it. However, towards the last 30 to 40 minutes, I just wanted them to speed things up a bit.

Just What Was the Point?

Two of the weakest characters in the film get too much screen time. Firstly the antagonist they are at no point even fun to watch. They don’t make you care about them, and they don’t feel like a threat.

The second is a part of the group, and they cause needless drama. Leading to some unfavorable events down the road. They become easier to stomach in the second half, but that doesn’t stop the character from just not being enjoyable.

Conclusion

While it is a lengthy film, it started strong and unique then slowly regressed into every other movie in the zombie genre.

A zombie heist film is an exciting concept, and getting the team together is some of the most fun to be had watching this.

The leading role is undoubtedly one of the strongest characters, but most of the group have some time to shine. Army of the Dead is at its best when everyone is together. Making whenever the group is compromised sad to see because that means that the chemistry is thrown off.

If you’ve ever seen a zombie/horror movie before, you know what to expect as the film gets closer to the end. Around the halfway mark and beyond, nothing surprised me. I enjoyed the majority of the first half, but it collapsed in the second.

It’s hard to feel for people when they have it coming. These are professionals, yet when it comes to common sense in most situations, they lack it. All of the bad could’ve been easily avoided, yet it happens anyway.

One of the most unlikable characters in this flick is in the vast majority of it. If they were limited, they wouldn’t influence the film so much, but their decisions and how they impact the group will leave onlookers justly annoyed.

With a strong start, I believed Army of the Dead would give the genre some spice and standout. However, it couldn’t keep it up for the monstrous two and half hour runtime.

Verdict 5.5 out of 10 Stars

Now available on Netflix!

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