I feel kind of obliged to say something about ARMY OF THE DEAD which arrived on Netflix this week. I can definitely say something, but it won’t be positive. I despised pretty much every second of it.
Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.
Maybe I’m just too fussy? Maybe I demand too much from my zombie movies? My basic requirements are a) a story that goes somewhere, b) characters that I give a shit about, and c) a film that moves at a decent pace and doesn’t have me checking my watch every few minutes. If it’s a large-scale action zombie movie, I want big set-pieces with plenty of undead. If it’s a comedy, I want jokes I can laugh at. If it’s a thriller, I want to feel the tension.
I don’t know what ARMY OF THE DEAD was originally pitched as, but it gave me absolutely nothing in return for the 2 hours and 28 minutes I invested in it.
Worst of it is, the film had ridiculous amounts of money behind it and arrived with extraordinary amounts of hype. A huge audience streamed it in the first week, and so to the people behind the scenes who are crunching the numbers, I expect they’ve classed it as a runaway success. The inevitable upshot of this will no doubt be more of the same.
I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty depressing.
Again, I’m an old-school, living dead purist who happens to have a new zombie novel out tomorrow, so I might well be in the minority. I’d be interested in hearing other people’s thoughts. The film is streaming now on Netflix.
Thanks for reading.
Over the years I’ve recommended many films, books, and podcasts. You can find a full list of them here.
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