By Gulal Singh
BLOODY AND BARMY
Army of The Dead is presented to the audience as a fresh and eccentric take on the zombie film genre but in its 2 hour 30 minute run time it fails to establish a purpose and a satisfying ending that just left me a little disoriented. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of a heist movie based in a “ZOMBIE INFESTED” Las Vegas is absolutely bonkers, simply thinking about the idea is very exhilarating although the film itself is a grubby mess that plays into age old cliché’s, there is still some very bizarre classiness and finesse in its action and climax.
The premise is where the problem of this film lies. Dave Bautista and his crew filled with all types of characters and misfits has been hired for the heist of the century which at first seems like a smooth in and out but later turns out to be a blood soaked massacre. Each and every character on this team except for Bautista’s daughter is present for the sole reason of making some extra cash, and by extra I mean a couple of million dollars. For me it is very difficult to just buy into such a stereotypical premise. I just expected something more special form director Zack Snyder. But then again I can’t really be mad at this film for not making sense because halfway through I see an albino zombie tiger on screen.
The plot continues to introduce quirky elements and kill off unimportant characters. Now I won’t name names, but that’s not because I’m afraid I’ll spoil the movie for you, but because if you were to put a gun to my head, I kid you not that, I would still not be able to name even 5 characters. There are some notable actors who do make their characters presences felt. Tig Notaro delivers, as she plays a cranky and eccentric helicopter pilot with a lot of class. Huma Qureshi, who plays the somewhat intriguing Indian mother, by the name of Geeta, very realistically. She definitely out shines some of the recent Bollywood actors who debuted in Hollywood. Oh, yes, and of course the quite lovable German clock maker who added much needed comic relief to the overall dullness of this film.
The action is pretty insane. The sheer goriness of the epic action sequences makes the overall experience mind-blowing. Although watching a skull shatter after it gets dropped from a 100 storey building may not be everybody’s cup of tea. The film looks beautiful, Vegas looks paradoxically delightful. It entwines the grotesque infrastructure and floor design with drippy lighting that set the stage for some amazing action scenes and an absolutely grand finale. The finale ends up being not so grand after all…as a lot is left unclear and just seemed a little bland due to its lack of experimentation.
To sum up, this movie continues to fight with it on whether it wants to be good, bad or ugly. It ultimately does not live up to the hype, but that does not mean that it not worth a watch. Although I still wouldn’t encourage you to get a new Netflix subscription to watch this film. There are flaws in this Zack Snyder epic and it’s up to you if you want to ignore them or not. I did not ignore them!