Time loops. Robots. UFOs. Oh and it’s a zombie movie! Time for Honest Trailer, Army of the Dead.
Army of the Dead is a 2021 American zombie heist film directed by Zack Snyderfrom a screenplay he co-wrote with Shay Hatten and Joby Harold, based on a story he also created. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, and Garret Dillahunt. It follows a group of mercenaries who plan a Las Vegas casino heist amid a zombie apocalypse.
Snyder conceived the idea for Army of the Dead as a spiritual successor to his 2004 debut film Dawn of the Dead. The project, originally from Warner Bros. Pictures, was announced in 2007 with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. attached to direct. However, the film spent several years in development hell before Netflix acquired distribution rights in 2019. With a $70–90 million production budget and Snyder also serving as cinematographer, principal photographytook place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, in mid-2019. The film underwent reshoots in September 2020 after several sexual misconduct allegations were made against cast member Chris D’Elia; he was replaced by Notaro using green screens and CGI.
Army of the Dead was released in select theaters in the United States on May 14, 2021, and was digitally released on Netflix on May 21.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 69% of 240 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “An ambitious, over-the-top zombie heist mashup, Army of the Dead brings Zack Snyder back to his genre roots with a suitably gory splash.” According to Metacritic, which assigned a weighted average score of 57 out of 100 based on 43 critics, the film received “mixed or average reviews”. PostTrak reported that 83% of audience members gave the film a positive score.
Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com said the film was better than Dawn of the Dead but worse than any zombie film by George A. Romero, who also created the original Dawn of the Dead in 1978. While noting that the film was “pretty deliberate” and “lean” despite its runtime and criticizing its characters, Tallerico said the film was clever and gave positive remarks to its action sequences, writing that they were “the kind of fun, clever beats that keep Army of the Dead alive.”