Review Roundup For Army Of The Dead

Zack Snyder's zombie heist movie releases this week, and the first reviews are in.

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Zack Snyder's Justice League might have only hit streaming in March, but the director's next film is about to arrive. Army of the Dead is Snyder's long-in-development zombie heist movie, and it hits theaters in the US on Friday, May 14, with a Netflix release following on May 21.

The movie focuses on a team of tough mercenaries who are hired to steal millions of dollars from a vault below a Las Vegas casino. The main problem is that Vegas has been infested with zombies, with thousands of hungry undead swarming the streets of the city. The movies has an ensemble cast led by Dave Bautista, and the runnig time clocks in at a hefty 148 minutes.

Reviews of Army of the Dead are now online. So far the response has largely been positive, with critics praising the action, humor, and diversity of the cast, but others more critical of the length and attempts at more emotional content. It currently holds 75% on Rotten Tomatoes--so here's what the critics have said about Snyder's zombie action epic.

Army of the Dead

  • Directed By: Zack Snyder
  • Written By: Zack Snyder, Shay Hatten, Joby Harold
  • Starring: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro
  • Release Date: May 14 (US theatrical), May 21 (Netflix)

TheWrap

"There's enough gore, mayhem, and decay in Army of the Dead to make for a satisfying zombie-movie experience, and while it's the best film Snyder has made since his last “of the Dead,” it's also one that continually hints at the more satisfying work it might have been. The director goes all-in on spectacle, but his script is a pair of threes."--Alonso Duralde [Full review]

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."--John Nugent [Full review]

Little White Lies

"It's a shame that Army of Dead falls so flat, because the concept of a zombie heist movie is undeniably intriguing, particularly at a time when we all need a little escapism. It's not even that zombie films can't be political (Romero's filmography attests to that), but if you are aiming to make a statement then mere glancing in the direction of social injustice isn't going to cut it. Snyder's enthusiasm always comes across in interviews, but it rarely translates to the screen, and Army of the Dead ends up as a bloated jumble of slo-mo violence and misjudged attempts at emotional resonance."--Hannah Strong [Full review]

Hollywood Reporter

"The screenplay by Snyder, Shay Hatten and Joby Harold strikes a satisfying balance between accelerated action — fountains of blood, splatter, gore and punishing fight sequences — and quieter character-driven interludes that succeed in making us care about the motley crew tackling the zombie menace. This is also a B movie in which the ballsy women, queer-friendly elements and racially diverse casting are anchored in story and not just ticking off inclusivity boxes."--David Rooney [Full review]

Slashfilm

"It's all very exhausting, and at 148 minutes, Army of the Dead more than overstays its welcome. It also tries to shoehorn in a few clumsy emotional moments at the last minute, and throws in a few twists and turns as well, but none of this works – and I doubt anyone is very interested in that sort of thing anyway. You don't come into this sort of movie looking for character development. You just want to see some jacked people firing big, loud guns. And you'll get that, and then some."--Chris Evangelista [Full review]

IndieWire

"Discerning viewers may have more than a few questions as the movie heads toward a cliffhanger that promises the franchise around the corner, but the bulk of “Army of the Dead” is self-explanatory. It's a blockbuster that funnels the appeal of big-budget action and horror with an almost sacred reverence for the material. That's absurd, but Snyder's a true believer in go-for-broke escapism and at its best, the mayhem in “Army of the Dead” is an infectious zombie bite of its own."--Eric Kohn [Full review]

Screen Rant

"While the director is aiming for something like Ocean's 11 meets Dawn of the Dead, the film is neither a skillfully crafted heist plot, nor does it employ its zombies to offer much, if any, social commentary on the state of the world like Romero's original. Instead, it takes the most basic entertainment value from the respective genres to craft this new type of zombie thriller. Snyder's Army of the Dead delivers some compelling action and shocking visuals, but isn't clever or fun enough to be more than a shallow zombie flick."--Molly Freeman [Full review]

AV Club

"This is a long movie, but it doesn't feel long. It moves, Snyder bounding with enthusiasm and little shame through clichés of his mashed-up video-store fare, like the moment where he walks us through—with a snappy illustrative flood of imagery—how the heist is supposed to unfold, which is to say how it won't. Army's general adherence to convention makes its deviations stand out."--A.A. Dowd [Full review]

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