Army of the Dead

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.

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