Army of the Dead review-round up: Zack Snyder's heist film has 'moments of pure silliness' but crumbles under long running time
According to the early reviews, Army of the Dead, has 'no shortage' of excitement, suspense, twists and turns but feels 'painfully dry in the second half'
Zack Snyder's much-awaited film Army of The Dead is all set to release in US theatres on 14 May while it will premiere on Netflix on 21 May. The filmmaker, who is known for helming movies such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, 300, Man of Steel, and Watchmen, is returning to the zombie genre with this project.
Ahead of its release, the first round of critics reviews for Army of the Dead is already in. While most of the reviews are positive in which critics have appreciated the humor, action, and diversity of the cast, a section has criticized its length among other things.
The movie, headlined by Dave Bautista, is set following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas when a group of mercenaries ventures into the quarantine zone and pull off the greatest heist. The cast also features Ella Purnell, Garret Dillahunt, Ana de la Reguera, Tig Notaro, Matthias Schweighofer, Raul Castillo, Omari Hardwick, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Bollywood actor Huma Qureshi.
Here are a few early reviews:
Empire: "Army Of The Dead is best when Snyder leans into the fun, and allows himself moments of pure silliness. When he aims for more emotional territory, we start to feel the weight of that running time. Drilled down, there's not much going on under the bonnet, either; as in his take on Dawn, the satirical edge of Romero's zombies has been blunted. But when the bullets start flying and the zombie flesh starts exploding, it feels like Snyder is doing exactly what he wants".
The Hollywood Reporter: "There’s no shortage of excitement, suspense, jokey camaraderie, sorrowful losses, satisfying comeuppances, twists and turns to fill the generous running time, with plenty of variation in the bloody encounters. Among the best of them is an attack by the guardian of the alphas’ domain at the Olympus Hotel, Valentine, a zombie white tiger, late of Siegfried & Roy’s act. (Montecore lives!) The stunt work is consistently impressive, with smooth integration of CG and physical action, and a relatively restrained hand from the director with his trademark slow-mo and speed ramping".
Screen Rant: "There's plenty of gore for those who like their horror movies bloody, and some gratuitous nudity, because why not. However, the film's portrayal and desecration of women's bodies, in particular, is incredibly frustrating, not because women can't be on the end of brutal killings, but because Army of the Dead uses this violence to prove its points about various male characters".
Collider: "It doesn’t help that Army of the Dead becomes painfully dry through its second act. After assembling the team, shooting up some zombies, and then reaching the Bly, the team splits off for separate missions and you can feel the air going out of the picture".
Variety: "The film gathers momentum, but its first half is too generic, and the whole thing is a little too long. At Netflix, it seems, a director doesn’t have to wage war to get the Snyder cut".
The Guardian: "Army of the Dead arguably has a gonzo excess, and a certain kind of end-of-the-world spectacle, maybe borrowed from Planet of the Apes; that could be down to the famous Vegas scale-replica of the Statue of Liberty. But there is something weirdly and oppressively uninspired in this CGI world".
Deadline: "Snyder proves here that with the right material and attitude he is an artist in control and hitting his own zeitgeist again. Funnily enough, it apparently took a trip to Netflix to do it for him, and ironically he has lightened things up with a film that almost demands to be seen on the big screen".
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