‘Army of the Dead’ review: Zack Snyder cuts loose (and too long) on a zombie-heist combo

Snyder in fact directed the 2004 remake “Dawn of the Dead” early in his profession, prior to “300” and his substantial vacation into the world of graphic books and superheroes. While “zombie/heist” is practical shorthand — “Ocean’s Eleven” fulfills “The Walking Dead” — the motion picture mashes up a number of categories and older movies, owing maybe its most substantial financial obligation to “Aliens,” to the point of pilfering an unforgettable line of discussion.

Like that movie, this one includes a team of soldiers (OK, mercenaries here, however close sufficient) heading into a treacherous setting surrounded by slavering animals, performing their objective under a ticking-clock situation. The beasts, additionally, may be a bit more complicated than traditional versions, including an additional degree of problem.

In this case, the job includes clearing out a Las Vegas gambling establishment vault prior to the federal government drops a nuke on the city to get rid of the zombie danger. If the concept of Sin City being overrun by meaningless zombies sounds practically redundant, well, that’s planned to be part of the enjoyable.

The primary issue is that Snyder invests more than a 3rd of the motion picture establishing the facility and assembling his group, prior to the genuine action starts in earnest. And while there’s an unavoidable “Who will make it?” quality to this sort of workout, too few of the characters stand apart enough to make the possibility of ending up being zombie food as worrying as it must be.

That starts with the group’s leader, Scott Ward, played by “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” Dave Bautista. He brings his share of luggage along for the trip, including his stretched relationship with his grown child (Ella Purnell), which is mainly as exhausted as that sounds.

Tig Notaro and Matthias Schweighöfer do supply comic relief as a helicopter pilot and safecracker, respectively, the latter truly acting as the linchpin of the entire operation. Yet even with some genuinely eye-popping surges of gore, the different obstacles included front of the gang make the motion picture feel puffed up, a by-product of wedding event a lot of aspects in a plan that plainly brings a greater price than scary motion pictures typically do.

In gambling terms, Netflix has already gone pretty much “All in” on Snyder’s zombie world, including plans for an animated series and prequels. In addition, the film is receiving an exclusive theatrical release — a potential godsend for newly reopened theaters — before its debut on the streaming service.
For all the craziness that preceded its arrival, Snyder’s expanded cut of “Justice League” reinforced the epic tone and vision he brings to that kind of material. Love it or not, it’s a distinctive skill, dating back to his bloody work on “300” and “Watchmen.”

“Army of the Dead” possesses dribs of those qualities, but not at a similar level. So while this might represent a diverting lark in its dizzying combination of motion picture conventions, this is another among those circumstances where what takes place in Vegas most likely must remain there.

“Army of the Dead” premieres May 14 in theaters and May 21 on Netflix. It’s ranked R.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.