Back in the day, my book club read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. They took Jane Austen’s classic, word for word, and added some scenes of zombie attacks. Characters who disappeared from the original story were now potential victims of the horde. It’s brilliant and worth a read.
Army of the Dead could have been titled Ocean’s 11 & Zombies. Instead of Clooney, we get Dave Bautista (a better trade) assembling a crew of miscreants to break into an underground safe of a Vegas casino and escape with the millions in cash. Oh, and Vegas has been overrun by zombies.
That plot goes about how you expect, so don’t go in expecting high cinema (and if you do, that’s on you. Come on now). After all, zombie movies are meant to be drinking games. When the zombies take out someone from the crew, drink! Army of the Dead manages to pull some emotion out at the end, something only possible when a little care is put into the characters.
There are a ton of heist movies and zombie movies and it’s a little surprising this mashup isn’t done more often. If you’re a fan of either, this one works on both fronts. It’s a fun ride.