Zack Snyder may have made his name as the director of movies such as 300, Watchmen, Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as the Justice League movie, but he began his journey in the industry with Dawn of the Dead back in 2004. Dawn of the Dead was a remake of the 1978 movie of the same name, and was a zombie action movie, which is quite different from the sort of movies and projects that Snyder has been associated with since then. However, he had the concept for a sequel ready all the way back then, and it has finally seen the light of day, with Army of the Dead being released on Netflix.
Before we get into the movie itself, it is quite interesting to note just how popular the zombie genre is in popular culture. Zombie movies, whether horror, comedy or action, have always been received well by audiences, while The Walking Dead shows how it can be a very successful plot for a TV show as well. Zombie outbreaks are among the most common (fictional) scenarios that many people actually prepare against in real life, and there is a lot of influence seen in other areas as well. For example, there are several zombie-themed games that are available to play on phones and computers, while even online slot games often use zombies as a popular theme for their offerings. In fact, now with cryptocurrencies becoming so common, we can even see a Bitcoin slot game that is based on zombies, for example. All of this is just to show the popularity and impact of the genre, and thus it is no surprise that Army of the Dead has been one of the most-watched titles on Netflix since its launch in May.
The film stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, and Garret Dillahunt in an ensemble cast, as the plot revolves around a group of mercenaries planning to rob a Las Vegas casino in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The movie is quite well made, delivering a lot of action as promised, and it has proved to be a hit with both Snyder fans as well as fans of the zombie movie genre.
Las Vegas is put into a quarantine due to the zombie outbreak, but this leaves the city’s casinos abandoned as well, creating the opportunity for those who are skilled, brave or just lucky enough to try their hand at looting some of them. The plan is to get into Vegas, steal $200 million from a vault under the city, and get out before the government nukes the city to end the outbreak, with $50 million going to the government and the rest being divided among the team. While the movie is surprisingly long, it manages to hold viewers’ attention quite well, and it is a very good blend of the heist and zombie genres, with Snyder effectively blending both to create an entertaining movie.
The action set-pieces are definitely the high point of the movie, while there are some absolutely crazy moments that are pulled off due to Snyder’s vision and the willingness of his cast to follow it. Some of the moments are a lot of fun, and while there may seem to be a lack of substance with regard to the main characters and their personalities, it is enough for a movie of this type. Overall, Army of the Dead is an extremely fun and enjoyable movie from Snyder, and adds to a pivotal summer for the director.