‘Army of the Dead’ Summary & Review – Infiltrating The Zombieland For A Money Heist


Zack Snyder is famously known for creating some visually stunning cinema in modern times. Films like 300, Watchmen, and Justice League Universe are still close to fan’s hearts. When the trailer for Army of the Dead was released, many speculated that it is going to be yet another visionary flick. Snyder has not only directed the film but also written the original story. But does this Zombie Heist Movie impact its viewer the same way Snyder enchanted his fans in the past? Let’s find out.

‘Army of the Dead’ Summary

A road accident compromises a confidential payload transported by the US Military from the famous Area 51. The container unleashes a metahuman zombie who not only kills the soldiers but also infects the nearby Las Vegas city. In order to protect the country, the US government quarantines the city, locking the zombies inside it.

A band of mercenaries, carrying guns and grenades helped the government to seal the city, but after the work was done, their efforts were ignored and abandoned. The head mercenary, Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) now lives an infamous life, flipping burgers. His life was mundane until the owner of the Las Vegas Casino, Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) offers him a job to extract 200 million dollars from his casino’s vault situated at the heart of the quarantined Zombie City. To support his daughter’s future, Scott gambles upon his life. He assembles his team of bandits recruiting his old pals and helping hands needed for the mission.

However, the US government plans on nuking the entire city in the next 96 hours, and hence, Scott needs to make fast decisions. His future depends on it. But once they enter the Zombie city, the new challenges and the Zombie Kingdom amp up the conflict. There is much more in store for them than just wads of cash.

Read More‘Army of the Dead’ Ending, Explained

The Review

The first look of the film mesmerized the fans, including me. However, visually, the trailer was all the film had to offer. The Zombie tiger, the big guns, and a Zombie Elvis Presley, done to dust in a single montage. For the remaining timelines, the film is just a stretch of action drama.

In 2019, the sequel to the famous Korean Zombie film, Train to Busan 2 captured a similar storyline, just with fewer characters, VFx, and conspiracies. But looking at Army of the Dead, the Korean film stands out with much more character depth and thrilling climax. Zack Snyder really needs to hire an honest screenwriter to bounce back his opinions.

Visually, the film is disappointing too. Zack Snyder produced the film himself (under his company The Stone Quarry), and thus, it couldn’t have a similar VFx budget as directed by WB. Keeping that clause aside, the film envisions a similar dark color tone for which Snyder is criticized. Army of the Dead lacks colors (contrary to its colorful posters) and it isn’t vibrant enough. The blacks are too heavy in some sequences (in digital print). The action sequences are too much, the runtime overly stretched and emotional scenes pulled off by non-motivating performers. Overall, the film lacks Snyder’s touch.

Army of the Dead feels like Snyder’s own version of Suicide Squad, only his band of bandits hold no power. But if one compares the film with other popular zombie films like World War Z (best of the lot), Train to Busan and Residential Evil, Snyder’s film fails to stand out.

Streaming on Netflix, one can give the film a try, but it isn’t close to anything spectacular. Unfortunately, the film will soon be forgotten, because, neither performance nor Vfx was able to support a dull storyline.

Army of the Dead is a 2021 Zombie Heist film directed and written by Zack Snyder.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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