Army of the Dead movie review: Huma Qureshi is a damsel in need in Zack Snyder’s nuanced zombie flick

Army of the Dead Movie: The writing in director Zack Snyder’s movies, especially when he insists on doing it himself, is more inert than any zombie he’s ever put on screen. But even with two additional writers on board this time, his long-awaited return to roots, Army of the Dead, is a very edgy movie in which the filmmaker struggles even on the visual front, which is rare.

Filmed by Snyder himself, the film uses a visual aesthetic similar to the Batman-Joker epilogue in his recent director’s cut of The Justice League. Aside from the expansive computer-generated shots of post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, Army of the Dead has an almost entirely portable environment; filmed with custom lenses that basically reduce the depth of field to a few centimeters.

Watch an interview with Zack Snyder here

It gives the film a unique look that takes some getting used to, and arguably steals the scale in some scenes as well. You can feel Snyder getting carried away a bit after the initial camera tests. After a pretty shallow pre-credit streak, Army of the Dead is jumping into old-school Snyder territory with such glee that I can imagine hungry fans of its original movies deciding to spend an extra hour at the gym. bring to celebrate.

The opening score, annotated on a Viva Las Vegas comic cover, captures the backstory and contextualizes the rules of the post-apocalyptic world in which the film takes place, similar to the opening scene of Zombieland. Snyder, who possibly designed one of the most beautiful end-credit series of recent times with Watchmen, is at his most visually striking in those five minutes. It is almost as if he is actively rebelling against the creative prison in which he spent the last decade of his career.

You have finally disconnected from Netflix. But if he thought the four-hour Snyder Cut was an exercise in self-indulgent excess, wait until you’ve got a load of the exploded disaster that is Army of the Dead.

Scott Ward, a mercenary played by Dave Bautista, is approached by Hiroyuki Sanada’s seedy Japanese businessman with a tantalizing plan. In the quarantined city of Las Vegas, where the zombie outbreak has apparently been contained, there is $ 200 million in cash unattended. If Scott is able to get it back, he’ll get a good chunk and assure himself and his daughter of a bright future.

A few musical montages later, Scott assembles his team, which includes a hermit biscuit, an ax-wielding maniac, a devious coyote and, for some strange reason, his teenage son as well. He suspected it was not ideal to give the film’s protagonist purely capitalist motivations, which is why Snyder also attributes a human element to the mission.

Our own Huma Qureshi has been reduced to a MacGuffin in Army of the Dead. She plays Geeta, a woman who is in the quarantine zone and has to be picked up by the crew, almost like a bag of money herself. This not only makes her a damsel in need, it also makes Scott’s daughter Kate a white savior.

The film could have benefited greatly from tighter editing – the themes Snyder is trying to touch on, such as the refugee crisis, American capitalism, and the Trump years, would certainly have come up. But instead, he structures the movie like a video game, dividing the gang into Scooby Doo characters and sending them on individual missions. Unlike the best heist movies, neither your skills nor your cultural background play a significant role in the story.

For example, it is briefly stated that Deiter, Matthias Schweighöfer’s sissy safe cracker, is possibly the most valuable member of the crew and must protect himself at all costs. But he can get by on his own. What’s more dramatic: Deiter suddenly becomes a ruffian ** because the plot requires him to do that, or does the crew compromise his own safety by trying to keep him safe?

Army of the Dead also unravels with an unwaveringly rigid tone: Snyder doesn’t take pleasure in the idea that, unlike the undead created by George A Romero decades ago, the zombies in this movie are capable of mobilization and strategy. They have a king and a queen and they seem to have formed some kind of society. Instead, this is the kind of movie where when one character finds another alive, he says, “I found you, you’re alive.”

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