‘Army of the Dead’ is a straight forward, emotionless slugfest

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Zombies and Las Vegas don’t mix as well as they should in the bloated and empty “Army of the Dead”.

Infamous director Zack Snyder has returned to the zombie roots that brought him to Hollywood in the first place, and this time he’s writer, director and in charge of cinematography. But don’t watch “Army of the Dead” expecting a return to Snyder’s really good “Dawn of the Dead” remake in 2004. “Army” can’t seem to handle its marching orders.

“Army of the Dead” is available to watch on Netflix and is also showing in some local theaters. Stay home for this one.

“Army” is a combination heist flick and zombie shooter. Actor Dave Bautista puts together a crew to rob a casino vault on the Las Vegas strip, except that Sin City is overrun with zombies.

On its surface, the premise sounds great. The fun and energy of a heist movie combined with a zombie apocalypse? With all of the flair and magic of Las Vegas? Sign me up.

Instead, “Army of the Dead” is a straight forward, emotionless slugfest that is full of plot holes and runs for way too long at 2 1/2 hours. The movie is packed too full of stories and characters for its own good. On top of the heist, Bautista’s character has family problems, relationship problems and personal problems. On top of all of that, there are betrayals, inflated side characters and a whole separate movie about intelligent zombies.

There are also plot holes so big you could drive an army convoy through them. They’re the sort of plot holes that have you wondering why the movie even exists. When the big twist is revealed, you’ll find yourself wondering why anybody is even attempting a casino heist in the first place.

It’s never a good idea when your movie contradicts your movie.

But all of that being said, “Army of the Dead” still delivers what it claims to be delivering. This is a movie about a crew of interesting characters attempting to rob a casino, only to have to deal with a bunch of bloodthirsty and deadly zombies. There are plenty of guns, explosions, gruesome deaths and zombie gore.

So if you’re willing to set aside your brain for a little bit, “Army” might just be fine. The action is pretty good and the characters and actors are fun to watch, for the most part. Just be prepared to be sitting there watching for a long time, wondering why parts of the movie just don’t make any sense.

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