So, I gave the Netflix Top 10 another try, and I found myself watching a subject very near and dear to my heart. Army of the Dead, a zombie movie, but not just any old zombie movie. This one’s set in Vegas. Woot! I did enjoy seeing the landscape and the yellow-eyed showgirls. It was almost like some of my Ragers made it to the big screen. Although the plot was very different, I did enjoy what similarities I got to see. They’re unavoidable from one zombie flick to another. Whether it be book or film, you’re always going to spot something you’ve seen before.
Before I get into the meat of the review, I think I need to spend a little time on one of the most interesting things about this movie. Tig Notaro, who played the role of helicopter pilot Marianne Peters, was not actually brought onto the project until a year after filming had been completed. Apparently, the original actor they had in the role had some pretty heavy sexual harassment alligations brought against him, and Snyder thought it best to replace him completely. I knew this going into the movie and pointed it out to my husband so we could both watch how the scenes played out, but I found myself forgetting about it later in the film. Her addition was actually very smooth, and it was unnoticeable that she wasn’t on set with the other actors. I was surprised and pleased by that technical aspect of the film, and I really enjoyed watching Tig.
Now, on to the movie itself. As far as popcorn movies go, I’d only give this something in the 2.5 or 3 stars out of 5 range. The reason is, popcorn movies cover a wide range, and there are plenty out there I would say to watch before this one. But narrow that down to a zombie popcorn movie? I’d give it a solid 4.
One of the things I found intersting about the movie was the fact there was a hierarchy within the zombie community. There are the shambler zombies, which are the run-of-the-mill deadbrains that just want to nom nom nom, and then there are the alpha zombies. We get zero backstory really on where the main alpha came from, aside from the opening scene (which I very much enjoyed), but the lack of information isn’t really needed. I believe I read somewhere there might be a prequel in the works?
Anyway, the plot to get our MCs to go into a city overrun with zombies is solid enough. Dialog is on par with other zombie films, so no complaints there. They even throw in a twist to let us know those alphas are banging and there’s a…. baby? lol
Okay, now I am curious about the prequel.
The reason why I had issues with this film is what happens at the end. The big side plot of this movie is a single mother, Geeta, who goes in to Vegas to try to nab some cash to help raise her kids, and she doesn’t make it back out. Kate Ward (Ella Purnell), who is the daughter of Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), risks her life and her father’s life to save Geeta. Of course this is the big dramatic climax at the end. Where’s the helicopter? Will they make it out before the bomb goes off? Can they fend off the last alpha seeking vengeance? Ya know, typical action/zombie movie ending.
Well, of course, things don’t go exactly as planned, but Scott has managed to get Kate and Geeta on the chopper with Marianne piloting. The thing is, as soon as Geeta gets on the chopper, she fucking disappears. Just… nothing. There are plenty of shots of what’s going on inside while Scott is fighting the alpha, but no Geeta. The only thing we see is a shot of her and Kate watching the incoming nuke that hits the city. That causes the chopper to go down. Huge crash and it’s obvious Marianne is dead. Kate wakes up, has a quick heart to heart with Scott before he turns (he got bitten by the alpha), and they even talk about Geeta and taking care of her kids, but no mention of her. No shot of her dead or alive to let us know she made it. She was a HUGE plot point of Kate’s story, and the whole reason why Scott and Marianne didn’t make it out alive, and she gets completely dropped.
I’m just going to assume she died in the crash, and Kate accomplished absolutely nothing except getting her father killed. Such a gigantic ball to just drop.
Anyway, since I watched this one, but was lazy about writing the review, it’s already dropped to number 4. Home, a movie released in 2015, overtook it yesterday. Now today, Lucifer is in the top spot. Why? Because it released yesterday, and them Lucifer fans are thirsty. (I friggen love the show and will have it all watched by Monday.)
Well, if you made it this far looking for a book update, there isn’t one today, but I promise there will be one on Tuesday!
Have a happy and safe Memorial weekend, and as always, Happy Reading!