Zack Snyder’s directorial debut was a zombie movie, 2004’s remake of Dawn of the Dead, a movie that I really liked so his return to the undead genre, especially one featuring Dave Bautista leading a team on a heist in a zombie ravaged Las Vegas sounded right up my street.
Unfortunately the movie suffers from several of Snyder’s excesses and a script which at times is painfully predictable and undercooked. There are double crosses that you can see from miles away, characters who sign their own death warrants and criminally underdeveloped characters.
It’s a shame because there are glimmers of good ideas and the opening sequence which shows the fall of the city and introduces several of our zombie killers is a quality montage up there with Snyder’s “Times They Are A-Changin'” sequence in Watchmen. The gore is over the top, bloody and in places rather fun and zombie showgirls, Elvis impersonators and a tiger are quite interesting too.
The problem is that the characters aren’t engaging enough. There’s one scene where a character makes a revelation that telegraphs that they’re about to buy the farm. Other characters have the potential to be fun and interesting, but the execution is botched. A YouTuber who posts zombie kills? That could have been gold.
Bautista handles the action well enough, and does his best, but the father-daughter stuff and emotional baggage they saddle his character with feels out of place. The ending, as well, is disappointing, hinting at a sequel that I’ll struggle to get worked up about. It’s fun, but nowhere near as much as it should have been, and while there were nice touches it falls into formulaic territory too often. 6/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.