If today I am sitting in front of my keyboard writing these lines it is, in part, thanks to the fact that in the already distant spring of 2004 I decided to buy a ticket to go see a movie titled 'Dawn of the Dead' directed by a certain Zack Snyder. That zombie show, wild and esthete, not only reaffirmed my passion for genre cinema and changed my way of approaching the seventh art; He also put a name on my radar that would end up becoming one of my head filmmakers.
Since then, Snyder has already made nine feature films, and he has failed to generate in me an iota of disappointment with any of them; which includes his controversial adaptations of comics such as' 300 ',' Watchmen 'or the different productions of DC Films, hypervitamin delusions such as the underrated' Sucker Punch 'and, even, his approach to children's cinema with the charming' Ga 'Hoole. The Legend of the Guardians'.
With 'Army of the Dead', his new Netflix title - which I have had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen during its limited theatrical release - the one from Wisconsin has returned to its roots with another hilarious and violent undead orgy which, in addition to giving an interesting twist to the subgenre, collects all the hallmarks adopted over the last 17 years that have given Zack Snyder, as much as it may weigh some, the status of author.
After what is seen in the aforementioned 'Sucker Punch', whose particular universe was turned into a kind of immense box in sand with which to play, give free rein to the imagination and have a great time, it seems that the director has chosen to apply that Same creative strategy in an 'Army of the Dead' mining playful 24-karat gold from its city of Las Vegas infested by a horde of reanimated human flesh-eating deceased.
Under this framework, Snyder fuses heist cinema, unrestricted action and terror in a cocktail that takes George A. Romero's approach to the zombie in ‘The Land of the Undead’ one step further. Now the creatures are not only intelligent and agile; they also develop emotional relationships, are organized by hierarchies, and have established a sort of primitive society in a devastated Sin City turned into their home.
The dynamics of the group of mercenaries made up of the Scott Ward of Dave Bautista and company are aligned with the canons - here more blurred - on dysfunctional teams condemned to understand each other dictated by John Carpenter; essential piece within the wide range of references of an ‘Army of the dead’ that unceremoniously embraces various concepts of works such as ‘Ghosts of Mars’ or ‘1997: Rescue in New York’.
Zack is back!
However, despite being built around strong external influences, we are facing a 100% house brand production. Something clearly visible from overwhelming credit titles to the rhythm of Richard Cheese - whose version of 'Down With the Sickness' sounded in 'Dawn of the Dead' - and that extends to the taste for explicit violence and practical effects, already a visual treatment that once again brings out the director's advertising baggage.
On this occasion, in addition to taking care of the staging and the script, Snyder has also acted as cinematographer; wrapping the story with an assortment of images ranging from magnetic close-ups with a minimal depth of field, which make the most of Canon Rangefinder lenses with 0.9 and 1.5 apertures restored and adapted for the occasion, and lavish wide-shots that end of shaping set pieces as vibrant and stylish as you might expect.
Anyone who has heard the audio commentary on a Zack Snyder feature film —or even an interview— may have noticed how much fun it is to explore ideas and bring them to the big screen. As well; Perhaps his ‘Army of the Dead’ is the work in which he has best achieved the goal that the public have such a good time and enjoy watching it as much as he did filming it. Zack is back, and he has done it in style.