ARMY OF THE DEAD (2021)
Zombie flick finds an outbreak occurring after an army convoy has a serious accident outside of Las Vegas and a containment canister is opened, releasing a vicious and fast moving zombie. It, and some of the soldiers it transforms by bite, head towards the Entertainment Capitol of the World and soon it’s overrun. After unsuccessfully trying to purge Vegas of the living dead, the army has sealed off the city and there are plans to nuke it. Enter down on his luck ex-soldier Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), who is hired by businessman Hunter Bly (Hiroyuki Sanada) to assemble a team and go into zombie infested Las Vegas to steal $250 Million from a casino hotel safe before the nuke hits. No surprise that things don’t go as planned.
Netflix release is directed by Zack Snyder from his script with Shay Hatten and Joby Harold. It’s a fun heist/zombie flick that is loaded with gore, but also has some heart and a little character depth amidst all the gory spectacle. The visuals are spectacular, as with any Snyder flick, and for a 2 and 1/2 hour movie it moves well and keeps one bloodily entertained. There are a few kinks added to classic zombie lore…while they still have to be shot in the head, there are levels of zombies including some that think, move fast and have emotions, aside from just voracious appetites. The colorful cast, including Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera and a hilariously sarcastic Tig Notaro are solid and Bautista shows he has developed some nice chops and is capable of leading man status. There are a few slow spots here and there, but otherwise it’s a bloody fun time and loaded with gunfire, chases and showers of gore. Also stars Matthias Schweighöfer, Omari Hardwick, Raúl Castillo, Nora Arnezeder and Samantha Win as the rest of Ward’s team and actor/stuntman Richard Cetrone (Ghosts of Mars) as the zombie king.