My issue with Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder is what you might call ‘polarizing’. You either seem to love or hate his films.
For myself, when he’s held to fairly strict limitations (IE 300, Watchmen), his films can be amazing to watch. WHen left to his own devices and creativity, his films can be an absolute convoluted shit show.
The only exception to this may be his first movie, “Dawn of the Dead”. It was brilliantly done, and really put Snyder on the map as having not only an eye for cinematography, but… dare I say ‘reverence’… for the original material? Romero’s original is beloved among fans, and it was a dicey proposition to take on a remake of that property, but is usually regarded as his best work.
300 and Watchmen (and yes, I can forgive the creative change to the squid), were visually stunning to the point that, to me, it felt as if the pages of those graphic novels came to life. The way the scenes were shot, the feel of it, the faithfulness to the original material (again, squid notwithstanding) made them, for me, highlights of what Snyder was capable of.
Then… you get absolute messes like Sucker Punch, Man of Steel, Batman Vs Superman… all which COULD have been amazing (in my opinion, some do actually like them), except for the fact that Zack Snyder remembered he’s “Zack Snyder” and had to Zack Snyder all over them. If you’ve seen any of those movies, my statement needs no explanation.
Which, brings me to Army of the Dead.
The pre-title bit was actually amazingly intriguing, and set my expectations for a fairly specific story which… Zack being Zack… completely went sideways and off the rails, and not in a good way. By the time the opening credits were completed, it felt like the entire concept of the movie had changed, and yet.. .I was still curious to sit through 2 and a half hours of Zack being Zack to see where it went from there. Sadly, the rest of the movie seemed to not give a shit about not only the pre-title stuff, but even the stuff that happened during the opening credits. Was the CGI cool? Sure, but Snyder movies are always visually stunning, even when the stories are shit. Was the acting good? Hard to say, and, in a zombie movie, is that really THAT important when zombie tigers and over-the-top gore are your primary drivers?
I’m sure people get in to the film business because they have stories they want to tell, but in my opinion, Zack Snyder should stick to telling other people’s stories in a different medium.