Army Of The Dead (2021)

A zombie/heist film of capitalistic LV dystopia, signature ocularly-stylistic bravado, & clever modernized remixes of subgenre, AOTD returns Zack Snyder to horror zombies roots, but fails: an hour-overlong, cacophonous, laughably-written, masochistic excruciation. 3.7/10.

Plot Synopsis: After a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble by venturing into the quarantine zone for the greatest heist ever.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

A Reinjection Of Life Into The Undead

Night. Dawn. Land. Day. Survival. Diary. Night II. Dawn II. Shaun. Army. The Of The Dead Title & Romero’s Zombies Born Of Haitian Voodoo Folklore & Consumerist Satire Got Bitten By Laziness, Complacency

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Night. Dawn. Land. Day. Survival. Diary. Night II. Dawn II. Shaun. Army. The Of The Dead title has certainly had a long history in moviemaking – as well as the zombie genre they started – ever since George A. Romero [R.I.P.] first groundbroke a new concept of terror back in 1978. The American horror film legacy taking the world by-storm, zombies were born out of Haitian voodoo and ancient folklore modernized and extrapolated with a genius metaphorization/satire of our capitalistic and consumerist vices.. and gore splatterfest fun in gut-busting joyrides through city malls, farms, theme parks, suburbs, etc. The genre has now, unfortunately as all major franchises and subgenres eventually succumb to in life-cycle, reached a point of stagnance by the hundreds or thousands of filmography pictures – and needed a re-injection of life into the undead if the concept was going to remain a staple for years or decades to come. Zack Snyder might be the world’s most trending pop-culture/blockbuster director in 2021 – for better-or-worse depending on how you side with the inevitable cinematic discourse following his mention, a name that easily brings media and audience attention to your movie. After the release of the mythological fan-campaigned Snyder Cut of Justice League delivered a masterpiece of comic book glory that vindicated the director’s trilogy vision for the most iconic superheroes of all-time and rose like a zombie from the ashes of Warner Bros. graveyard trapping studio-execs in their own NOTLD farmhouse, we breathed pure excitement for the prospectus of ZS returning to his early filmmaking roots in horror/zombies dating back all-the-way to 2004’s fandom-celebrated Dawn Of The Dead remake giving him directorial prominence in the first place. Though he similarly evolves the genre he started within in new ways while bringing his stylistic visual auterism, the movie – painfully in disappointment – sucks. A zombie/heist film of capitalistic dystopia, clever modernized evolutions of subgenre rules, fantastic Vegas-undead concept/setting, and his signature ocular bravado in stylistic-yet-scarce gore splatterfest action, AOTD takes Zack Snyder back to his early filmmaking horror roots, but fails by a laughably-written, Netflix-characteristic fake-woke/unoriginal, weakly-acted, cacophonous, hour-overlong excruciation of masochism

A Predictively-Breathtaking Visual Canvas

The Ocular Bravado & Stylistic Auterism Signature Of ZS’ Filmography – Muted Chromas Infuse Maturity, Juxtaposed With Pops Of Vibrance & Perfect CGI. ‘Holy Sh*t’.

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The film is [predictively] dazzling from an ocular perspective. For any storytelling and technique directorial faults findable in any of his filmography, there’s no arguing that he’s not a genius when it comes to visual bravado and stylistic flair: one of the most important aspects of moviemaking in CLC’s vote as an artistic [underline: artistic] medium. The muted chromas infuse a sense of maturity juxtaposed with pops of vivid color that make the jaw-dropping cinematography even 10x more effective at making you audibly say ‘holy sh*t.’ The scale of AOTD is positively insane – constantly bringing the camera back to extreme long-shot pans of hundreds of thousands of zombies with a singular victim’s hand rising with a SOS smoke-grenade or fighter jets dropping napalm/nuke-strikes up-and-down the Strip from miles away brought to life by the best CGI/VFX in the world only mountains of money can paint. Also of central recognition is the film’s precocious capitalistic and marxist allegorical visual undertones black-comedically flipping the grandeur and opulence of its brilliant setting back on itself: Las Vegas. We love, love, love the concept-pitch and setting choice of a dystopian postapocalyptic world finding horror in the palatial luxury of Sin City. The tourist-fueled attraction’s references & homages to the world’s architecture and travel wonders recreating things like the Eiffel Tower, Statue Of Liberty, Rome, etc. make it almost a mini-globe set in the context of a single city that breathes pure brilliance for a setting of a big-ticket blockbuster zombie movie. This is Dawn Of The Dead’s satirical anti-consumerist/capitalistic raison-d’être on the biggest scale imaginable: a city built in foundations on the drug and high of money that turns us into real-life zombies every day in its pursuit every day while hoardes of masses of bodies like zombie-crowds in tourist high-seasons Vegas experiences daily.

The Capitalistic Dystopia

Precocious Marxist/Capitalistic Allegorical Visual Undertones Flip The Opulence, Luxury, & Grandeur Of Vegas Back On Itself; True To OTD’s Anti-Consumerist Origins

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The cinematography constantly has fun with the concept too by flipping the over-the-top excess and luxury of Vegas high-rises and penthouses back on themselves thematically too – such as scenes where topless strippers some fatcat banker in Caesar’s Palace called for sexual favors being zombies who crawl onto him with malicious intent for not quite the physical position he wanted and slot-matchine jackpots churning out waves of coins right above waves of blood spewing out an eaten-alive victim right below it. The eeriness of such a beautifully-built encapsulation of the world’s wonders empty and in a Blade Runner/Mad Max-esque dystopia is a striking sight the film’s concept-pitchers certainly deserve a million-dollar raise for imagining and the ocular pedigree of the film is so advanced, they’re able to unfurl the entire pre and mid-apocalypse [complete with character-introductions of remarkable backstory exposition and loss] in the opening credits without even a singular world; solely by the power of visual storytelling set to a great indie soundtrack. The movie’s pop-score is very good and ultra-diverse: everything from the classical jazz of sumptuous ritzy elegance going hand-in-hand with Sin Ciy’s aesthetic of world-renownance in Elvis Presley’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ to acoustic bluegrass guitar strums of Thea Gilmore’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ to latin moombahton/rap of Control Machete’s ‘Si Señor’ to the fantastically-meta The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ to echo the visuals’ cues wherever needed. Make no mistake, though, AOTD isn’t only a brooding indie as some of Zack Snyder’s films are admittedly-guilty of; though it is overlong and rarely-punches enough with them [as we’ll discuss later], the action scenes are A+ when they are featured and lifted with booming drum orchestration to excite the nerves.

The Visceral-Yet-Scarce Action Scenes

Despite Sporadic Congregation, Fantastic Blood-Soaked Action Scenes Of Pre, Mid, And Post-Apocalyptica In One Movie & Some Of The Best Aerial Stuntwork Ever Seen

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The 10-15 min opening credits pack the most action, as well as the final act and intermittent spurts throughout [as well as perhaps the best helicopter stuntwork I’ve ever seen in the finale] that certainly deliver enough R-gore and blood-splattered fun to appease genre-diehards – a phenomenal trend of modernization we love in modern studios increasingly unclutching their traditional pearls and giving creative teams the full freedom an R-rating affords them to explore the dark side of human psyches and whatever twisted and sadistic thought pops into their heads from heads twisted back, people chainsawed open, bodies crushed by concrete-walls, napalm-strikes, and tigers maul people in real-time for a tapestry of beyond-limits imagination. Speaking of the word, the best thing about AOTD outside of visuals is its herculean ambition to evolve an increasingly-complacent genre wandering around aimlessly in status-quo: zombies. What was once one of our favorite subgenres of horror has become a stale, stagnant exercise in Where’s Waldo trying to find any – and I mean: any – semblance of innovation or new. Army Of The Dead brings exciting new possibilities to the lore core to Zack Snyder’s heart and filmography; the film bestows the gift of intelligence on them like 2001’s Monolith and giving them the abiity to think, rationalize, use tools, and even create social hierarchies up to Alphas and Royalty like the kingdom within the closed-off borders of postapocolapyse Las Vegas. One of the dumbest and most laughable parts of the mythology of zombies beyond a metaphoric and purposely-farcical comedy lens the film’s earlier pictures frolicked within is how slow and ~unthreatening they move: just mindless husks that happen to be able to infect and chew brains if you’re stupid or unfortunate enough to be outside.

The Hard-Risms & Soundtrack

A Renaissance By Studios Learning To Uncluch Pearls & Take A Walk On The Dark Side Of Man’s Psyche; Indie-Soundtrack Of C. Jazz, Bluegrass, Rap, Electronica, & Meta

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

There have been smart reinventions and retools of the concept cleverly giving the undead some speed and strength to make them 10x scarier: 28 Days/Weeks Later, Overlord, Train To Busan, World War Z, and even Zack’s 2004 Dawn Of The Dead remake, but none of them are halfway the level of this. Beyond the entire universes of possibilities [even neanderthalic] IQ can bring storytelling-wise to zombies, there are also cool rule-subversions – like animals now being fair-game for infection for us to see epic zombie-tigers and horses, hibernation, and even pregnancy as another route of reproduction beyond traditional infections. We hope there is a sequel just to flesh out the new rotting-flesh ideas brainstormed here – and because the rest of the movie, as a whole, sucks. Not just sucks: it’s ghastily, unspeakably awful; a film that wastes its talent and concept-pitch to fail on ~every level. Army Of The Dead might be the most plothole-riddled film I’ve seen in at least the last 10+ years; the real nightmare isn’t even in the cacophonous, snarling zombies that roar at sensory-numbing decibel/frequency levels for 2/3 the film with no apparent reason or miracle that Kate made it out.. it’s how anyone in this writers’ room got their middle-school diploma and was let into larger society. We hate the modernized CinemaSins style of ‘film criticism’ [we refuse to even call it that, since real critics love movies with all of their hearts and don’t nitpick overlookable minutia not even related to the film’s experience or whole just for the fun of it and clickbait for a cesspool of Reddit/4Chan edgebro negativity], but this film deserves the likely 2-hour long roast session inevitably awaiting it – one you don’t even need someone to go back through with a magnifying glass to find inconsistencies/errors like they do but can instead find by just simply watching with a halfway attention span film-breaking, massive, gaping blackholes that kill any semblance of artistic prominence or care.

Evolution Of The Zombie Genre

Bestowance Of Intelligence, Social Hierarchy, Tool-Usage, Animal Infections, Pregnancy, Etc. Brings New Life To A Subgenre As Lost & Apathetic As Its Zombies

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The opening scene shows a transport of like 5 trucks of F-class security guards who would rather be talking about mummys and aliens than doing their one easy job of paying attention to the road while carrying a vector of the apocalypse. The resistance and surviving city-officials of Las Vegas build an entire wall around miles’ worth of city in seemingly a few days and before even ONE zombie conveniently decided to wander out or get trasnported on any number of public transportation to any other part of the country. Martin somehow can’t hear the team talk about killing him from 5-6 feet away in a small room. Chambers somehow loses the group in the hibernation scene walking mere feet in front of her. Vanderohe *SPOILERS* survives days or even weeks alone in the vault and harsh desert wilderness [+ post-nuke winter in Las Vegas without getting exposed to any radiation whatsoever] whilst bitten, when everyone else in the film lasts 10-15 minutes maximum before turning into zombies. These perfectly-crafted killing machines able to take down an entire metropolitan city’s population in mere days somehow can’t see Kate’s body-heat signature from inches away separated only by a car window. The best & most atrociously-funny of all of them, though: the zombie-king [Zeus] somehow makes it down an entire skyscraper building from the rooftop and gallops on horseback back to the Olympus before Scott & Peters make it there leaving earlier.. and when they’re in a f*cking helicopter!!!! LMFAO. This is writing so laughably-stupid, incoherent, lazy, and incompetent, it makes you wonder if the film was written by zombies itself! That’s not even including the fact that the film puts on central display the exact same type of MCU juvenile, irreverent, tonally-clashing quips and jokes Zack Snyder hypocritically criticized for years: his characters taking selfies with zombie corpses and saying Shakespeare/Dostoyevsky-level dialogue lines like ‘are you walking behind me to check out my a*s?’, ‘your hairstyle is so cool’, ‘I’m tanning by the pool!’, etc. that made me almost seek medical assistance by the uncontrollable cringes that followed. Don’t even get us started on the characterization.

One Of The Biggest Plothole Scripts Ever

A Movie Built For CinemaSins: Security-Lite Transports Of Apoc. Vectors, City-Barriers Built In Days, Differential Bite Survival Times, The Crux Of The Film Being A Rando Neighbor, Horses Outracing Helicopters, Etc.

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The crux of the entire film’s events and heart: the powerful thunderstrike of motivation core to driving the film’s emotion, potency, and character-arcs though the lens of its lone-survivor final girl is…. saving some rando mom you met ~5 days ago. This isn’t even *YOUR* mom or something remotely understandable of why you would risk your own life – and the lives of everyone else on the team, who all have families too for the weakest possible excuse – to save her. The film even puts in a line that invalidates itself unknowingly in its own screenplay for maximum hilarity: ‘everyone has a mom’ (The Coyote to Burt Cummings when he tries to excuse why they shouldn’t kill him); exactly, so why is Geeta so special when she’s the one who voluntarily went into a zombie quarantine zone herself fully-knowing the risks involved and majority likelihood she wasn’t coming back? As if the character of Kate isn’t bad enough and one of the worst and most idiotically-scripted final girls in horror history, the actress chosen can’t even ACT! Ella Purnell is a nobody in Hollywood whose only even remotely-known film is the box-office record-breaking cinematic masterpiece [*sarcasm intensifies*] of 2016’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. How she ever got a role beyond the local community theatre, let alone a project of this magnitude alongside a cast led by A-lister Dave Bautista (whose panda bear-ish charm/charisma endears alongside a thankfully-more seriously role than the juvenile Drax, even though he sometimes seems disinterested/sleepwalking through scenes. Rest of the cast is mixed and too ~amateurish too, besides us liking Dieter & Vanderohe’s actors and comedic bromance and the bourgeoise vs. proletariat warfare themes of the team being used/played like pawns by rich, powerful CEO’s who find their workers expendable, lesser, & worthless to metaphorize capitalism) in a Zack Snyder film, is a bigger mystery than the origins of Zeus.

A Mixed Cast W. Epic Failure Of A Final Girl

A Cast Of Okay D-Listers Besides The Panda-ish Charm Of A Star-Ready Dave Bautista – But One Of The Worst-Acted/Scripted Final Girls Of The Genre

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Purnell can barely even fake a cry in the finale scene of emotional catharsis of *SPOILERS* her father dying right before her eyes just as they’d reached forgiveness/resolution and she has to kill him like he did his wife to mirror the film’s beginning arc and cross their character ones over.. you really need to quit acting if you can’t believably fabricate emotion there. My goodness. Literally the only point of the character is to some teen-edgy beacon of directionless hatred and militant feminism, hating her father for the completely-understandable trauma of not being able to see his daughter’s face out of remembrance he had to kill the love of his life and her mother she looks just like because she was a zombie – a harbinger of yet another massive problem in the film: The Netflix Signature. We’re coining this term we’ve noticed in at least 10+ recent Netflix projects, and are starting to await TM’s out of pure agony and languish of the good times we had. Netflix used to be one of – if not our #1 favorite studio; ah, the good ol’ days of its 2014-2017 Golden-Age: when they focused on mastering their TV craft, churned out masterpieces upon masterpieces like House Of Cards, The Crown, Ozark, Daredevil, BoJack Horseman, etc., and fittingly took over the world to rewrite the history of cinema by proof-of-concepting the profitability of streaming. The inevitable apocalypse on their own horizon of every major billion-dollar cinematic studio with generations of experience, history, lore, and funding from the golden hues of tinsel-town should’ve brought out their best as competition does.. Lord knows it did in the challengers with HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, etc. building powerful film/TV-ographies in a mere couple of years. Netflix, instead of playing up to their competition and redirecting their considerable funds into original creative visions, decided to go the cheapest, laziest, and most selling-out of routes: stealing others’ ideas and reframing them under a new name to target ignorant millennial casual-watchers who care more about performative social media activism than cinema; woke unoriginality that’s now become The Netflix Signature.

The Netflix-Signature: Woke Unoriginality

The Entire B-Arc Of The Film Is Directly Ripped From Aliens; Also POTA, EFNY, Dead Heist, RE3, Ocean’s, TB&LF, Etc.; Movies As Political Machines Of Performative Activism From Billionaires On [Zombie] High-Horses

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The entire B-arc of the film is a 100% ripoff of 1986’s Aliens. Read that sentence again. A capitalistic mole sent in alongside an extraction team is given an ulterior motive by a tycoon CEO: to retrieve a sample of its big-bad sci-fi/horror monsters labs can run tests on and governments can weaponize. Sound familiar? Rarely have I ever seen such a blatant ripoff and amalgamation of someone’s IP and better movie [illegally & not even ashamedly] repurposed and remarketed as something new and its own.. well, since the last Netflix project barely 1-2 months ago: the Fear Street trilogy stealing ideas of everything from Scream to Friday The 13th to Blair Witch Project to Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. This goes all the way back to Stranger Things we say to-date is massively-overrated by how it came up with nothing on its own and just coasted off better classic movies’ ideas from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Here, the film not only rips off Aliens, but also manages to steal from a slew of sources from Planet Of The Apes, Escape From New York, Dead Heist, RE 3: Extinction, Tower Heist, Ocean’s, Lightfoot and Thunderbolt, & more – and it can’t even do any of those movies or Aliens right either! Why would Mr. Tanaka even have to send multiple teams in on *SPOILERS* a big charade of a bank-heist he doesn’t even care about if his only purpose was a queen’s head he could’ve taken by-force in one capture-mission by a team half that size [hell, two people alone were enough to bring her down]? Gosh. The laziness of scripting also finds it way into other aspects, such as noticeable dead pixels that should’ve easily been fixed in post-production – tainting the perfect visuals in several places throughout the film. Not only does the film offend on these levels, but it also pimps itself out for a political machine of eye-rollable PC narrative talking points off a political checklist hand-crafted by a fresh college-grad yt feminism-major who bought her way into a studio exec’s secretarial position with daddy’s money. Snyder gets woke – by the obvious authoritarian grip of Netflix who have forced this same vomit-inducing rhetoric into every one of their films & TV series, although it also makes no sense given how vitriolic-ally the general public and especially the pink-haired, twitter-fingers young millennials I’m embarrassed to be in the same age group as but fuel these cyberwars hate him and his movies. Gosh, why does Hollywood feel the talk down to audiences from a high-horse of moral sanctitude/purity when audiences have constantly-proven how sick they are of hearing this in the one place they go to escape life’s problems? While we love moviemaking, the industry part is about as dark a nightmare of the biggest morality-destitution imaginable behind-closed-doors, just look up the Weinstein & Epstein cases.

Somnambulence, Length, & Tone-Clashes

An Exercise In Masochistic Excrutiation By A 1H20M Plot In 2H30M Movie – Filled With Bizarre, Hypocritical MCU Quips & Filler So Extensive, Death Scenes Take 10-15 Minutes

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Even as a liberal agreeing with most of their rhetoric from a broad-strokes perspectives, I cringe and let out a massive sigh every time I see things like the film’s obvious and overzealous maligning/generalizing of white men in Burt Cummings breathing down Kate & Geeta’s necks for minutes like I have never once seen in real-life public contexts in ~30 years of life and call border minorities things like Speedy Gonzalez to fuel the racial-divide [I’m not even white & the type of minority demographic they’re obviously targeting, but see through this fabricated, agendaic nonsense like ~95% of audience members who have never once said ‘Netflix told me to do better and be social justice moguls like they are; I’m going to change my entire life because of this zombie blockbuster action movie]. We support activism and have actually been there at *real-life* protests for minorities – but, as any actual activist there will tell you, real life ones don’t feel the need to post IG pictures or FB posts performatively-cloutbaiting how perfect and morally-superior they are while how not everyone else is; they want to escape it as much as the rest of us when they get a mere hour of the day for a break to relax. No one wants to get lectured by billionaires asserting they’re not only one of us, but better in every moralistic way. Give me a break. Finally, the film is inexorably long; this might be one of the only times I’ve ever seen a film grace the ignominious landmark of being a solid hour overlong. We [usually] love Snyder in his DC or war/mythology roots that have enough depth, lore, and generations of storytelling history to support longer runtimes, but Jesus: the man needs to learn how to say the word ‘cut’ and spare us the masochistic excruciation of sitting through a 2h30min+ intro zombie/heist film almost longer than 23+-film culmination events like Avengers: IW/Endgame. It literally feels like a grind and chore to get through AOTD and a number that gave us a sinking feeling in our stomachs as soon as we saw it, the antithesization of everything we go to for big-action blockbusters as dumb as this, a runtime that [impossibly] somehow doesn’t even manage to strongly-characterize its team with backstories inside, and a feeling reverberated by the actors in scenes they secretly look at the camera begging for it to get to the point such as Dave Bautista’s final death-scene that takes up a solid 10-15 minutes he has to ad-lib/improvise with weird lines like ‘let me just look at you’ to fill. Please, Zack, learn how to edit; it’s starting to ruin your films. Not everything has to or should be a Snyder Cut.

Conclusion

To Pimp A Butterfly

A Zombie/Heist Film Of Capitalistic LV Dystopia, Signature Ocular Bravado, & Clever Remixes Of Subgenre, ZS Returns To Roots, Failed: Hour-Overlong, Cacophonous, Laughably-Wrtn., Masochistic Excruciation

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Overall, we hate Army Of The Dead with a passion. The film is predictively dazzling from an ocular perspective – bringing Zack Snyder back to his early filmmaking horror roots with the signature visual bravado and stylistic cinematography genius he’s become known for in a glorious capitalistic/marxist-themed canvas of allegorical shots in the film’s exciting Vegas aesthetic and concept-pitch & central topic of considerable exposition in bourgeoise vs. proletariat bondage and warfare as cogent as its zombie antagonists. The zombies are good too; the undead are given an impressively-innovative & imaginative injection of new life by expanding the mythology of the subgenre with new evolutions like being given the bestowance of intelligence, tool-usage, social hierarchy, pregnancy, and the infectibility of animals while keeping the blood-soaked, R-liberated violence core to the IP to re-energize a stale concept beaten to death worse than the tiger or horse its king and queen ride over decades of laziness and the same. That’s about all that’s good about AOTD… and the rest is ghastily, unspeakably awful. The film might be the most plothole-riddled film I’ve seen in the last 10 years: the antichrist of bad writing lunging after the good of its concept worse than its cacophonous, snarling zombies do assaulting us with sensorily-numbing roaring [for no apparent reason] ~every second of the film as its real nightmare. We don’t condone the CinemaSins style of ‘film criticism’ [we won’t even call it that; real critics love the artform of film and don’t nitpick overlookable minutia just for clickbait in a cesspool of negativity], but this film actually deserves it by such inexcusable and film-breaking flaws you don’t even need them to notice. From the opening scene’s impossibility there wouldn’t be 10x more [& better] security transporting a vector of apocalypse to no zombies getting out of the city of LV as they were building an entire miles-long wall around that must’ve taken weeks to build to Martin not being able to hear the team talking about killing him from 5-6 feet away to how Vanderohe surviving days or weeks in the vault and wilderness whilst bitten and everyone else in the film lasting 10min max before turning to the crux of the entire film being Kate going after some rando mom she met for like 15 minutes but is willing to sacrifice the lives of the whole team who have families too to save in Geeta to the zombie king getting down from a skyscraper rooftop on foot and beating Scott & co. back to Olympus on horseback when they’re in a f*cking helicopter, the writing is so laughably-awful it kills any semblance of believability in the film.. or that the writers room had the IQ to even pass through middle-school. Even with all these galaxy-sized black holes that 100% kill the film on any semblance of a cinematic level in addition to lawsuitable unoriginality signature of Netflix’s projects [here, just mashing the Of The Dead films with Aliens’ exact B-arc, Planet Of The Apes, Ocean’s, Escape From New York, Dead Heist, RE 3: Extinction, Tower Heist, Lightfoot and Thunderbolt, etc. under a new name and hoping film-casuals won’t notice], they did have plenty of time to force in woke/PC narrative political checkpoints Netflix continues to lead the way in committing crimes against nature by forcing into *every* one of their films & TV episodes. Gosh, why does Hollywood feel the need to pimp every one of its art pieces with fake, performative activism that audiences have constantly-proven they’re sick of hearing in escapism/entertainment we go to avoid these political discussions by billion-dollar corporations talking down to the public from a high-horse of moral sanctitude to perceived sexist-and-racist heathens on how to act while carrying out the biggest nightmares of morality-destitution imaginable behind-closed-doors, as the Weinstein & Epstein cases [alone] proved? And why did Zack Snyder – completely out-of-character to his usual no-nonsense art-focused directorial style we like more than the formulaic fast-food blockbusters he usually competes against – approve of it when 75-80%+ of general audiences and ~97% of critics already hate the man, and the only possible demographic to approve of these sjw-isms is pink-haired, angry twitter-finger millennials who rarely ever venture outside of the MCU & are guaranteed not watching hard-R violence gorefests like this? Make it make sense. Speaking of ZS and the failure of AOTD’s screenwriting, they’re guilt of the exact same type of MCU humor and tonally-clashing jokes they criticized for years here: taking selfies with zombie corpses, ‘I love your hair’, ‘you want to check out my a*s?’, and ‘I’m at the pool working on my tan’ being the most cringeworthy ones alongside one of the weakest lead actresses choices in horror history [who can barely even fake a cry in the finale scene of emotional catharsis of her father dying right before her eyes just as they’d reached forgiveness/resolution and she has to kill him like he did his wife at the beginning arc.. you really need to quit acting if you can’t believably fabricate emotion there]: Ella Purnell and an hour-overlong runtime that makes you BEG the man to learn how to say the word ‘cut’ and end the masochistic excruciation of sitting through a 2h30min+ zombie/heist film that could’ve been done in 1h20min. After the masterpiece of The Snyder Cut earlier this year made the world finally see Zack’s original vision for the DCEU & Justice League, we were sold on marketing it as his return after the rock-bottom of Batman v Superman. Maybe it was just a fluke, or because he had the luxury of unlimited runtime [there only-acceptable by the near-century of mythology, stories, and public consciousness with that multitude of legendary characters] and half-a-decade to work on it behind-the-scenes. *Sigh*. A zombie/heist film of capitalistic dystopia, clever modernized evolutions of subgenre lore, fantastic Vegas-undead concept/setting, and his signature ocular bravado in stylistic-yet-scarce gore splatterfest action, AOTD takes Zack Snyder back to his early filmmaking horror roots, but fails by a laughably-written, Netflix-characteristic fake-woke/unoriginal, weakly-acted, cacophonous, hour-overlong excruciation of masochism.

A zombie/heist film of capitalistic dystopia, clever modernized evolutions of subgenre lore, fantastic Vegas-undead concept/setting, and his signature ocular bravado in stylistic-yet-scarce gore splatterfest action, AOTD takes Zack Snyder back to his early filmmaking horror roots, but fails by a laughably-written, Netflix-characteristic fake-woke/unoriginal, weakly-acted, cacophonous, hour-overlong excruciation of masochism. 3.7/10.

Plot Synopsis: After a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble by venturing into the quarantine zone for the greatest heist ever.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

A Reinjection Of Life Into The Undead

Night. Dawn. Land. Day. Survival. Diary. Night II. Dawn II. Shaun. Army. The Of The Dead Title & Romero’s Zombies Born Of Haitian Voodoo Folklore & Consumerist Satire Got Bitten By Laziness, Complacency

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Night. Dawn. Land. Day. Survival. Diary. Night II. Dawn II. Shaun. Army. The Of The Dead title has certainly had a long history in moviemaking – as well as the zombie genre they started – ever since George A. Romero [R.I.P.] first groundbroke a new concept of terror back in 1978. The American horror film legacy taking the world by-storm, zombies were born out of Haitian voodoo and ancient folklore modernized and extrapolated with a genius metaphorization/satire of our capitalistic and consumerist vices.. and gore splatterfest fun in gut-busting joyrides through city malls, farms, theme parks, suburbs, etc. The genre has now, unfortunately as all major franchises and subgenres eventually succumb to in life-cycle, reached a point of stagnance by the hundreds or thousands of filmography pictures – and needed a re-injection of life into the undead if the concept was going to remain a staple for years or decades to come. Zack Snyder might be the world’s most trending pop-culture/blockbuster director in 2021 – for better-or-worse depending on how you side with the inevitable cinematic discourse following his mention, a name that easily brings media and audience attention to your movie. After the release of the mythological fan-campaigned Snyder Cut of Justice League delivered a masterpiece of comic book glory that vindicated the director’s trilogy vision for the most iconic superheroes of all-time and rose like a zombie from the ashes of Warner Bros. graveyard trapping studio-execs in their own NOTLD farmhouse, we breathed pure excitement for the prospectus of ZS returning to his early filmmaking roots in horror/zombies dating back all-the-way to 2004’s fandom-celebrated Dawn Of The Dead remake giving him directorial prominence in the first place. Though he similarly evolves the genre he started within in new ways while bringing his stylistic visual auterism, the movie – painfully in disappointment – sucks. A zombie/heist film of capitalistic dystopia, clever modernized evolutions of subgenre rules, fantastic Vegas-undead concept/setting, and his signature ocular bravado in stylistic-yet-scarce gore splatterfest action, AOTD takes Zack Snyder back to his early filmmaking horror roots, but fails by a laughably-written, Netflix-characteristic fake-woke/unoriginal, weakly-acted, cacophonous, hour-overlong excruciation of masochism

A Predictively-Breathtaking Visual Canvas

The Ocular Bravado & Stylistic Auterism Signature Of ZS’ Filmography – Muted Chromas Infuse Maturity, Juxtaposed With Pops Of Vibrance & Perfect CGI. ‘Holy Sh*t’.

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The film is [predictively] dazzling from an ocular perspective. For any storytelling and technique directorial faults findable in any of his filmography, there’s no arguing that he’s not a genius when it comes to visual bravado and stylistic flair: one of the most important aspects of moviemaking in CLC’s vote as an artistic [underline: artistic] medium. The muted chromas infuse a sense of maturity juxtaposed with pops of vivid color that make the jaw-dropping cinematography even 10x more effective at making you audibly say ‘holy sh*t.’ The scale of AOTD is positively insane – constantly bringing the camera back to extreme long-shot pans of hundreds of thousands of zombies with a singular victim’s hand rising with a SOS smoke-grenade or fighter jets dropping napalm/nuke-strikes up-and-down the Strip from miles away brought to life by the best CGI/VFX in the world only mountains of money can paint. Also of central recognition is the film’s precocious capitalistic and marxist allegorical visual undertones black-comedically flipping the grandeur and opulence of its brilliant setting back on itself: Las Vegas. We love, love, love the concept-pitch and setting choice of a dystopian postapocalyptic world finding horror in the palatial luxury of Sin City. The tourist-fueled attraction’s references & homages to the world’s architecture and travel wonders recreating things like the Eiffel Tower, Statue Of Liberty, Rome, etc. make it almost a mini-globe set in the context of a single city that breathes pure brilliance for a setting of a big-ticket blockbuster zombie movie. This is Dawn Of The Dead’s satirical anti-consumerist/capitalistic raison-d’être on the biggest scale imaginable: a city built in foundations on the drug and high of money that turns us into real-life zombies every day in its pursuit every day while hoardes of masses of bodies like zombie-crowds in tourist high-seasons Vegas experiences daily.

The Capitalistic Dystopia

Precocious Marxist/Capitalistic Allegorical Visual Undertones Flip The Opulence, Luxury, & Grandeur Of Vegas Back On Itself; True To OTD’s Anti-Consumerist Origins

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The cinematography constantly has fun with the concept too by flipping the over-the-top excess and luxury of Vegas high-rises and penthouses back on themselves thematically too – such as scenes where topless strippers some fatcat banker in Caesar’s Palace called for sexual favors being zombies who crawl onto him with malicious intent for not quite the physical position he wanted and slot-matchine jackpots churning out waves of coins right above waves of blood spewing out an eaten-alive victim right below it. The eeriness of such a beautifully-built encapsulation of the world’s wonders empty and in a Blade Runner/Mad Max-esque dystopia is a striking sight the film’s concept-pitchers certainly deserve a million-dollar raise for imagining and the ocular pedigree of the film is so advanced, they’re able to unfurl the entire pre and mid-apocalypse [complete with character-introductions of remarkable backstory exposition and loss] in the opening credits without even a singular world; solely by the power of visual storytelling set to a great indie soundtrack. The movie’s pop-score is very good and ultra-diverse: everything from the classical jazz of sumptuous ritzy elegance going hand-in-hand with Sin Ciy’s aesthetic of world-renownance in Elvis Presley’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ to acoustic bluegrass guitar strums of Thea Gilmore’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ to latin moombahton/rap of Control Machete’s ‘Si Señor’ to the fantastically-meta The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ to echo the visuals’ cues wherever needed. Make no mistake, though, AOTD isn’t only a brooding indie as some of Zack Snyder’s films are admittedly-guilty of; though it is overlong and rarely-punches enough with them [as we’ll discuss later], the action scenes are A+ when they are featured and lifted with booming drum orchestration to excite the nerves.

The Visceral-Yet-Scarce Action Scenes

Despite Sporadic Congregation, Fantastic Blood-Soaked Action Scenes Of Pre, Mid, And Post-Apocalyptica In One Movie & Some Of The Best Aerial Stuntwork Ever Seen

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The 10-15 min opening credits pack the most action, as well as the final act and intermittent spurts throughout [as well as perhaps the best helicopter stuntwork I’ve ever seen in the finale] that certainly deliver enough R-gore and blood-splattered fun to appease genre-diehards – a phenomenal trend of modernization we love in modern studios increasingly unclutching their traditional pearls and giving creative teams the full freedom an R-rating affords them to explore the dark side of human psyches and whatever twisted and sadistic thought pops into their heads from heads twisted back, people chainsawed open, bodies crushed by concrete-walls, napalm-strikes, and tigers maul people in real-time for a tapestry of beyond-limits imagination. Speaking of the word, the best thing about AOTD outside of visuals is its herculean ambition to evolve an increasingly-complacent genre wandering around aimlessly in status-quo: zombies. What was once one of our favorite subgenres of horror has become a stale, stagnant exercise in Where’s Waldo trying to find any – and I mean: any – semblance of innovation or new. Army Of The Dead brings exciting new possibilities to the lore core to Zack Snyder’s heart and filmography; the film bestows the gift of intelligence on them like 2001’s Monolith and giving them the abiity to think, rationalize, use tools, and even create social hierarchies up to Alphas and Royalty like the kingdom within the closed-off borders of postapocolapyse Las Vegas. One of the dumbest and most laughable parts of the mythology of zombies beyond a metaphoric and purposely-farcical comedy lens the film’s earlier pictures frolicked within is how slow and ~unthreatening they move: just mindless husks that happen to be able to infect and chew brains if you’re stupid or unfortunate enough to be outside.

The Hard-Risms & Soundtrack

A Renaissance By Studios Learning To Uncluch Pearls & Take A Walk On The Dark Side Of Man’s Psyche; Indie-Soundtrack Of C. Jazz, Bluegrass, Rap, Electronica, & Meta

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

There have been smart reinventions and retools of the concept cleverly giving the undead some speed and strength to make them 10x scarier: 28 Days/Weeks Later, Overlord, Train To Busan, World War Z, and even Zack’s 2004 Dawn Of The Dead remake, but none of them are halfway the level of this. Beyond the entire universes of possibilities [even neanderthalic] IQ can bring storytelling-wise to zombies, there are also cool rule-subversions – like animals now being fair-game for infection for us to see epic zombie-tigers and horses, hibernation, and even pregnancy as another route of reproduction beyond traditional infections. We hope there is a sequel just to flesh out the new rotting-flesh ideas brainstormed here – and because the rest of the movie, as a whole, sucks. Not just sucks: it’s ghastily, unspeakably awful; a film that wastes its talent and concept-pitch to fail on ~every level. Army Of The Dead might be the most plothole-riddled film I’ve seen in at least the last 10+ years; the real nightmare isn’t even in the cacophonous, snarling zombies that roar at sensory-numbing decibel/frequency levels for 2/3 the film with no apparent reason or miracle that Kate made it out.. it’s how anyone in this writers’ room got their middle-school diploma and was let into larger society. We hate the modernized CinemaSins style of ‘film criticism’ [we refuse to even call it that, since real critics love movies with all of their hearts and don’t nitpick overlookable minutia not even related to the film’s experience or whole just for the fun of it and clickbait for a cesspool of Reddit/4Chan edgebro negativity], but this film deserves the likely 2-hour long roast session inevitably awaiting it – one you don’t even need someone to go back through with a magnifying glass to find inconsistencies/errors like they do but can instead find by just simply watching with a halfway attention span film-breaking, massive, gaping blackholes that kill any semblance of artistic prominence or care.

Evolution Of The Zombie Genre

Bestowance Of Intelligence, Social Hierarchy, Tool-Usage, Animal Infections, Pregnancy, Etc. Brings New Life To A Subgenre As Lost & Apathetic As Its Zombies

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The opening scene shows a transport of like 5 trucks of F-class security guards who would rather be talking about mummys and aliens than doing their one easy job of paying attention to the road while carrying a vector of the apocalypse. The resistance and surviving city-officials of Las Vegas build an entire wall around miles’ worth of city in seemingly a few days and before even ONE zombie conveniently decided to wander out or get trasnported on any number of public transportation to any other part of the country. Martin somehow can’t hear the team talk about killing him from 5-6 feet away in a small room. Chambers somehow loses the group in the hibernation scene walking mere feet in front of her. Vanderohe *SPOILERS* survives days or even weeks alone in the vault and harsh desert wilderness [+ post-nuke winter in Las Vegas without getting exposed to any radiation whatsoever] whilst bitten, when everyone else in the film lasts 10-15 minutes maximum before turning into zombies. These perfectly-crafted killing machines able to take down an entire metropolitan city’s population in mere days somehow can’t see Kate’s body-heat signature from inches away separated only by a car window. The best & most atrociously-funny of all of them, though: the zombie-king [Zeus] somehow makes it down an entire skyscraper building from the rooftop and gallops on horseback back to the Olympus before Scott & Peters make it there leaving earlier.. and when they’re in a f*cking helicopter!!!! LMFAO. This is writing so laughably-stupid, incoherent, lazy, and incompetent, it makes you wonder if the film was written by zombies itself! That’s not even including the fact that the film puts on central display the exact same type of MCU juvenile, irreverent, tonally-clashing quips and jokes Zack Snyder hypocritically criticized for years: his characters taking selfies with zombie corpses and saying Shakespeare/Dostoyevsky-level dialogue lines like ‘are you walking behind me to check out my a*s?’, ‘your hairstyle is so cool’, ‘I’m tanning by the pool!’, etc. that made me almost seek medical assistance by the uncontrollable cringes that followed. Don’t even get us started on the characterization.

One Of The Biggest Plothole Scripts Ever

A Movie Built For CinemaSins: Security-Lite Transports Of Apoc. Vectors, City-Barriers Built In Days, Differential Bite Survival Times, The Crux Of The Film Being A Rando Neighbor, Horses Outracing Helicopters, Etc.

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The crux of the entire film’s events and heart: the powerful thunderstrike of motivation core to driving the film’s emotion, potency, and character-arcs though the lens of its lone-survivor final girl is…. saving some rando mom you met ~5 days ago. This isn’t even *YOUR* mom or something remotely understandable of why you would risk your own life – and the lives of everyone else on the team, who all have families too for the weakest possible excuse – to save her. The film even puts in a line that invalidates itself unknowingly in its own screenplay for maximum hilarity: ‘everyone has a mom’ (The Coyote to Burt Cummings when he tries to excuse why they shouldn’t kill him); exactly, so why is Geeta so special when she’s the one who voluntarily went into a zombie quarantine zone herself fully-knowing the risks involved and majority likelihood she wasn’t coming back? As if the character of Kate isn’t bad enough and one of the worst and most idiotically-scripted final girls in horror history, the actress chosen can’t even ACT! Ella Purnell is a nobody in Hollywood whose only even remotely-known film is the box-office record-breaking cinematic masterpiece [*sarcasm intensifies*] of 2016’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. How she ever got a role beyond the local community theatre, let alone a project of this magnitude alongside a cast led by A-lister Dave Bautista (whose panda bear-ish charm/charisma endears alongside a thankfully-more seriously role than the juvenile Drax, even though he sometimes seems disinterested/sleepwalking through scenes. Rest of the cast is mixed and too ~amateurish too, besides us liking Dieter & Vanderohe’s actors and comedic bromance and the bourgeoise vs. proletariat warfare themes of the team being used/played like pawns by rich, powerful CEO’s who find their workers expendable, lesser, & worthless to metaphorize capitalism) in a Zack Snyder film, is a bigger mystery than the origins of Zeus.

A Mixed Cast W. Epic Failure Of A Final Girl

A Cast Of Okay D-Listers Besides The Panda-ish Charm Of A Star-Ready Dave Bautista – But One Of The Worst-Acted/Scripted Final Girls Of The Genre

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Purnell can barely even fake a cry in the finale scene of emotional catharsis of *SPOILERS* her father dying right before her eyes just as they’d reached forgiveness/resolution and she has to kill him like he did his wife to mirror the film’s beginning arc and cross their character ones over.. you really need to quit acting if you can’t believably fabricate emotion there. My goodness. Literally the only point of the character is to some teen-edgy beacon of directionless hatred and militant feminism, hating her father for the completely-understandable trauma of not being able to see his daughter’s face out of remembrance he had to kill the love of his life and her mother she looks just like because she was a zombie – a harbinger of yet another massive problem in the film: The Netflix Signature. We’re coining this term we’ve noticed in at least 10+ recent Netflix projects, and are starting to await TM’s out of pure agony and languish of the good times we had. Netflix used to be one of – if not our #1 favorite studio; ah, the good ol’ days of its 2014-2017 Golden-Age: when they focused on mastering their TV craft, churned out masterpieces upon masterpieces like House Of Cards, The Crown, Ozark, Daredevil, BoJack Horseman, etc., and fittingly took over the world to rewrite the history of cinema by proof-of-concepting the profitability of streaming. The inevitable apocalypse on their own horizon of every major billion-dollar cinematic studio with generations of experience, history, lore, and funding from the golden hues of tinsel-town should’ve brought out their best as competition does.. Lord knows it did in the challengers with HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, etc. building powerful film/TV-ographies in a mere couple of years. Netflix, instead of playing up to their competition and redirecting their considerable funds into original creative visions, decided to go the cheapest, laziest, and most selling-out of routes: stealing others’ ideas and reframing them under a new name to target ignorant millennial casual-watchers who care more about performative social media activism than cinema; woke unoriginality that’s now become The Netflix Signature.

The Netflix-Signature: Woke Unoriginality

The Entire B-Arc Of The Film Is Directly Ripped From Aliens; Also POTA, EFNY, Dead Heist, RE3, Ocean’s, TB&LF, Etc.; Movies As Political Machines Of Performative Activism From Billionaires On [Zombie] High-Horses

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

The entire B-arc of the film is a 100% ripoff of 1986’s Aliens. Read that sentence again. A capitalistic mole sent in alongside an extraction team is given an ulterior motive by a tycoon CEO: to retrieve a sample of its big-bad sci-fi/horror monsters labs can run tests on and governments can weaponize. Sound familiar? Rarely have I ever seen such a blatant ripoff and amalgamation of someone’s IP and better movie [illegally & not even ashamedly] repurposed and remarketed as something new and its own.. well, since the last Netflix project barely 1-2 months ago: the Fear Street trilogy stealing ideas of everything from Scream to Friday The 13th to Blair Witch Project to Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. This goes all the way back to Stranger Things we say to-date is massively-overrated by how it came up with nothing on its own and just coasted off better classic movies’ ideas from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Here, the film not only rips off Aliens, but also manages to steal from a slew of sources from Planet Of The Apes, Escape From New York, Dead Heist, RE 3: Extinction, Tower Heist, Ocean’s, Lightfoot and Thunderbolt, & more – and it can’t even do any of those movies or Aliens right either! Why would Mr. Tanaka even have to send multiple teams in on *SPOILERS* a big charade of a bank-heist he doesn’t even care about if his only purpose was a queen’s head he could’ve taken by-force in one capture-mission by a team half that size [hell, two people alone were enough to bring her down]? Gosh. The laziness of scripting also finds it way into other aspects, such as noticeable dead pixels that should’ve easily been fixed in post-production – tainting the perfect visuals in several places throughout the film. Not only does the film offend on these levels, but it also pimps itself out for a political machine of eye-rollable PC narrative talking points off a political checklist hand-crafted by a fresh college-grad yt feminism-major who bought her way into a studio exec’s secretarial position with daddy’s money. Snyder gets woke – by the obvious authoritarian grip of Netflix who have forced this same vomit-inducing rhetoric into every one of their films & TV series, although it also makes no sense given how vitriolic-ally the general public and especially the pink-haired, twitter-fingers young millennials I’m embarrassed to be in the same age group as but fuel these cyberwars hate him and his movies. Gosh, why does Hollywood feel the talk down to audiences from a high-horse of moral sanctitude/purity when audiences have constantly-proven how sick they are of hearing this in the one place they go to escape life’s problems? While we love moviemaking, the industry part is about as dark a nightmare of the biggest morality-destitution imaginable behind-closed-doors, just look up the Weinstein & Epstein cases.

Somnambulence, Length, & Tone-Clashes

An Exercise In Masochistic Excrutiation By A 1H20M Plot In 2H30M Movie – Filled With Bizarre, Hypocritical MCU Quips & Filler So Extensive, Death Scenes Take 10-15 Minutes

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Even as a liberal agreeing with most of their rhetoric from a broad-strokes perspectives, I cringe and let out a massive sigh every time I see things like the film’s obvious and overzealous maligning/generalizing of white men in Burt Cummings breathing down Kate & Geeta’s necks for minutes like I have never once seen in real-life public contexts in ~30 years of life and call border minorities things like Speedy Gonzalez to fuel the racial-divide [I’m not even white & the type of minority demographic they’re obviously targeting, but see through this fabricated, agendaic nonsense like ~95% of audience members who have never once said ‘Netflix told me to do better and be social justice moguls like they are; I’m going to change my entire life because of this zombie blockbuster action movie]. We support activism and have actually been there at *real-life* protests for minorities – but, as any actual activist there will tell you, real life ones don’t feel the need to post IG pictures or FB posts performatively-cloutbaiting how perfect and morally-superior they are while how not everyone else is; they want to escape it as much as the rest of us when they get a mere hour of the day for a break to relax. No one wants to get lectured by billionaires asserting they’re not only one of us, but better in every moralistic way. Give me a break. Finally, the film is inexorably long; this might be one of the only times I’ve ever seen a film grace the ignominious landmark of being a solid hour overlong. We [usually] love Snyder in his DC or war/mythology roots that have enough depth, lore, and generations of storytelling history to support longer runtimes, but Jesus: the man needs to learn how to say the word ‘cut’ and spare us the masochistic excruciation of sitting through a 2h30min+ intro zombie/heist film almost longer than 23+-film culmination events like Avengers: IW/Endgame. It literally feels like a grind and chore to get through AOTD and a number that gave us a sinking feeling in our stomachs as soon as we saw it, the antithesization of everything we go to for big-action blockbusters as dumb as this, a runtime that [impossibly] somehow doesn’t even manage to strongly-characterize its team with backstories inside, and a feeling reverberated by the actors in scenes they secretly look at the camera begging for it to get to the point such as Dave Bautista’s final death-scene that takes up a solid 10-15 minutes he has to ad-lib/improvise with weird lines like ‘let me just look at you’ to fill. Please, Zack, learn how to edit; it’s starting to ruin your films. Not everything has to or should be a Snyder Cut.

Conclusion

To Pimp A Butterfly

A Zombie/Heist Film Of Capitalistic LV Dystopia, Signature Ocular Bravado, & Clever Remixes Of Subgenre, ZS Returns To Roots, Failed: Hour-Overlong, Cacophonous, Laughably-Wrtn., Masochistic Excruciation

Photograph Courtesy Of: Netflix Originals

Overall, we hate Army Of The Dead with a passion. The film is predictively dazzling from an ocular perspective – bringing Zack Snyder back to his early filmmaking horror roots with the signature visual bravado and stylistic cinematography genius he’s become known for in a glorious capitalistic/marxist-themed canvas of allegorical shots in the film’s exciting Vegas aesthetic and concept-pitch & central topic of considerable exposition in bourgeoise vs. proletariat bondage and warfare as cogent as its zombie antagonists. The zombies are good too; the undead are given an impressively-innovative & imaginative injection of new life by expanding the mythology of the subgenre with new evolutions like being given the bestowance of intelligence, tool-usage, social hierarchy, pregnancy, and the infectibility of animals while keeping the blood-soaked, R-liberated violence core to the IP to re-energize a stale concept beaten to death worse than the tiger or horse its king and queen ride over decades of laziness and the same. That’s about all that’s good about AOTD… and the rest is ghastily, unspeakably awful. The film might be the most plothole-riddled film I’ve seen in the last 10 years: the antichrist of bad writing lunging after the good of its concept worse than its cacophonous, snarling zombies do assaulting us with sensorily-numbing roaring [for no apparent reason] ~every second of the film as its real nightmare. We don’t condone the CinemaSins style of ‘film criticism’ [we won’t even call it that; real critics love the artform of film and don’t nitpick overlookable minutia just for clickbait in a cesspool of negativity], but this film actually deserves it by such inexcusable and film-breaking flaws you don’t even need them to notice. From the opening scene’s impossibility there wouldn’t be 10x more [& better] security transporting a vector of apocalypse to no zombies getting out of the city of LV as they were building an entire miles-long wall around that must’ve taken weeks to build to Martin not being able to hear the team talking about killing him from 5-6 feet away to how Vanderohe surviving days or weeks in the vault and wilderness whilst bitten and everyone else in the film lasting 10min max before turning to the crux of the entire film being Kate going after some rando mom she met for like 15 minutes but is willing to sacrifice the lives of the whole team who have families too to save in Geeta to the zombie king getting down from a skyscraper rooftop on foot and beating Scott & co. back to Olympus on horseback when they’re in a f*cking helicopter, the writing is so laughably-awful it kills any semblance of believability in the film.. or that the writers room had the IQ to even pass through middle-school. Even with all these galaxy-sized black holes that 100% kill the film on any semblance of a cinematic level in addition to lawsuitable unoriginality signature of Netflix’s projects [here, just mashing the Of The Dead films with Aliens’ exact B-arc, Planet Of The Apes, Ocean’s, Escape From New York, Dead Heist, RE 3: Extinction, Tower Heist, Lightfoot and Thunderbolt, etc. under a new name and hoping film-casuals won’t notice], they did have plenty of time to force in woke/PC narrative political checkpoints Netflix continues to lead the way in committing crimes against nature by forcing into *every* one of their films & TV episodes. Gosh, why does Hollywood feel the need to pimp every one of its art pieces with fake, performative activism that audiences have constantly-proven they’re sick of hearing in escapism/entertainment we go to avoid these political discussions by billion-dollar corporations talking down to the public from a high-horse of moral sanctitude to perceived sexist-and-racist heathens on how to act while carrying out the biggest nightmares of morality-destitution imaginable behind-closed-doors, as the Weinstein & Epstein cases [alone] proved? And why did Zack Snyder – completely out-of-character to his usual no-nonsense art-focused directorial style we like more than the formulaic fast-food blockbusters he usually competes against – approve of it when 75-80%+ of general audiences and ~97% of critics already hate the man, and the only possible demographic to approve of these sjw-isms is pink-haired, angry twitter-finger millennials who rarely ever venture outside of the MCU & are guaranteed not watching hard-R violence gorefests like this? Make it make sense. Speaking of ZS and the failure of AOTD’s screenwriting, they’re guilt of the exact same type of MCU humor and tonally-clashing jokes they criticized for years here: taking selfies with zombie corpses, ‘I love your hair’, ‘you want to check out my a*s?’, and ‘I’m at the pool working on my tan’ being the most cringeworthy ones alongside one of the weakest lead actresses choices in horror history [who can barely even fake a cry in the finale scene of emotional catharsis of her father dying right before her eyes just as they’d reached forgiveness/resolution and she has to kill him like he did his wife at the beginning arc.. you really need to quit acting if you can’t believably fabricate emotion there]: Ella Purnell and an hour-overlong runtime that makes you BEG the man to learn how to say the word ‘cut’ and end the masochistic excruciation of sitting through a 2h30min+ zombie/heist film that could’ve been done in 1h20min. After the masterpiece of The Snyder Cut earlier this year made the world finally see Zack’s original vision for the DCEU & Justice League, we were sold on marketing it as his return after the rock-bottom of Batman v Superman. Maybe it was just a fluke, or because he had the luxury of unlimited runtime [there only-acceptable by the near-century of mythology, stories, and public consciousness with that multitude of legendary characters] and half-a-decade to work on it behind-the-scenes. *Sigh*. A zombie/heist film of capitalistic dystopia, clever modernized evolutions of subgenre lore, fantastic Vegas-undead concept/setting, and his signature ocular bravado in stylistic-yet-scarce gore splatterfest action, AOTD takes Zack Snyder back to his early filmmaking horror roots, but fails by a laughably-written, Netflix-characteristic fake-woke/unoriginal, weakly-acted, cacophonous, hour-overlong excruciation of masochism.

Official CLC Score: 3.7/10