Oddly, I ended up caring more about the Zombie King more than the two-dimensional human characters in the new Army of the Dead movie on Netflix. It opens with a US military convoy carrying a ‘dangerous cargo’ out from the Area 51 base in the Nevada desert. There’s an accident and our Zombie King breaks free! He promptly begins to infect and recruit an army to overrun Las Vegas (cue the comedy-horror to a modern soundtrack).
The US government fails to quell the zombie outbreak (yes, it’s all fairly covid-y) and, instead, seals off the city. The government is tempted to nuke the entire place, but there are humanitarian activists who create a fuss and everything gets a touch delayed.
A mercenary group of humans then decides (for various individual backstory reasons) to break into the city in order to retrieve a load of cash from under one of the mega casinos. It basically becomes a bit of a heist movie at this point.
It’s the politics of this movie that set it apart from the norm. We come to realise that the zombies aren’t just mindless invaders who should be destroyed – as they seem to have a social hierarchy and a language. Indeed, they just seem to want a place to live – it’s apparent that they could break out of Las Vegas if they wanted, but they’re content simply to have a home. See the politics? Indeed, given how poorly the human refugees of the city are treated by their own government in a holding camp, we understand that the true monsters in this movie aren’t the zombies. The zombies actually make the humans look bad. And we come to appreciate just how poorly the Zombie King has been treated (experimented on in Area 51, humans terrorising his city and ‘family’, etc)!
Is it full of silly gore? Yes. Is the tone of the movie entirely haphazard? Yes. Is it one helluva lot of fun? Abso-zombie-lutely! And the cast isn’t too bad. If you’re a fan of the genre, this movie has something a tad different to offer. Worth a look. 7 out of 10 from me!