Army of the Dead has the feel of a caper film rather than part of the zombie world so present on the screen today but it fails to come through with excitement and a plan which we can follow.
The opening scene follows a military convoy carrying something secret in Nevada. The caravan is suddenly hit by a careless driver and the secret something (which is enclosed in a metal container) falls on the highway and out pops a very dangerous zombi who has leadership qualities.
In a short time he has converted a major portion of folks in Las Vegas to his dead creature status. Part of Sin City is then boxed off containing the undead while the government decides what to do with the menace.
As usual every disaster is an opportunity for someone. In this case a wealthy individual reaches out to Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) requesting him to put together a team to retrieve millions of dollars in the safe at one of the casinos. That begins the other side of the film, which could have been interesting and action filled.
Scott Ward puts together a team in a similar fashion as Mr. Phelps on the old TV show Mission Impossible. Initially it appears formidable but quickly becomes more of the A Team another less serious TV show in style.
That is the down fall of the script, far too much time is spent on the problems, and personal solutions the characters on the team are facing. In an adventure film or a good caper it’s the execution of the plan (in this case, the gathering of the millions) before the government drops nuclear bombs on Vegas to cleanse the globe of the menace.
Some will remember Ocean’s Eleven and a few sequels which spend their time on a quality plan well carried out, that made them interesting and exciting to watch.
Here the script and direction waste time with arguments between the participants, their past difficulties, weakness they might show, all which take away from the potential excitement of the plan to get into the casino, its extremely secure safe and how to get away before the bombs fall.
Watching discussion that has nothing to do with the caper and probably over 100 zombies having their heads blown off dulls out quickly. With no foundation and direction for the rag-tag-group Army of the Dead blows up quickly.