Army Of The Dead on Netflix – full review of new zombie blockbuster

Director Zack Snyder’s new Netflix movie Army Of The Dead is here – with a 3D zombie tiger popping out of a screen to mark its release.

The creature can be seen emerging from the Piccadilly Lights advertising display screen in Piccadilly Circus to to startle UK shoppers in a publicity stunt for the action-horror blockbuster.

The huge visual effects tiger, named Valentine, features in the film, which also stars Dave Bautista and Ella Purnell.

The animal appears to step out from a devastated black and white post-apocalyptic Las Vegas on the huge curved digital screen in central London.

The tiger was created by visual effects supervisor Marcus Taormina, who previously worked on Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, and was inspired by animals at Big Cat Rescue, which featured in the Netflix series Tiger King and is owned by reality star Carole Baskin.

The zombie tiger appears on the Piccadilly Lights screen in London to mark the release of Netflix’s Army Of The Dead

Snyder, who previous films include 300, Watchmen and Man Of Steel, said: “My crack visual effects team went down to Carole Baskin’s place and used her tigers to get the movements.

“(They) were happy to hear that we were using visual effects to create the big cat, versus using a practical tiger because of the inhumane ways that they had been treated over the years.”

Taormina added: “We flew to Tampa, Florida, and were introduced to Carole Baskin. Later on, I guess it was probably four or five months in, my wife was watching something and from the other room, I heard this familiar voice. And there’s Carole on the TV.”

The film is set following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, when a group of mercenaries venture into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

The tiger will be available to see in Piccadilly Circus at half past the hour every hour until midnight on May 23.

So what’s the film actually like?

Army Of The Dead's characters get ready to do battle with (from left) stars Nora Arnezeder, Samantha Win, Ana de la Reguera, Dave Bautista and Omari Hardwick
Army Of The Dead’s characters get ready to do battle with (from left) stars Nora Arnezeder, Samantha Win, Ana de la Reguera, Dave Bautista and Omari Hardwick

Army Of The Dead review

Army Of The Dead (Cert 18, 148 mins, Horror/Action/Adventure, streaming from May 21 exclusively on Netflix)

Starring: Dave Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, Omari Hardwick, Hiroyuki Sanada, Richard Cetrone, Athena Perample.

Review by Damon Smith, Press Association. Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A zombie apocalypse decimates Las Vegas in the Nevada desert and the military contains the slavering undead within a ring of steel.

Army Of The Dead on Netflix - full review of new zombie blockbuster
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Scott Ward (Dave Baustisa), former leader of mercenary group Las Vengeance, is approached by billionaire Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) to put together a squad capable of stealing 200 million dollars from a casino vault before a US government-sanctioned tactical nuclear strike reduces the gambling capital to rubble.

Flanked by his trusty second-in-command Maria (Ana de la Reguera) and chainsaw-wielding lieutenant Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick), Scott leads the incursion into zombie territory.

He is unaware that a super-strong and fiercely intelligent zombie king called Zeus (Richard Cetrone) commands the horde with his queen (Athena Perample).

One word aptly sums up director Zack Snyder’s approach to filmmaking: overkill.

It is the perfect description for his return to zombieland after 2004’s Dawn Of The Dead remake.

This overblown heist caper puts Ocean’s 11 in a blender with The Walking Dead and chugs down the bloody conflation in lustrous slow-motion.

On-screen body count reaches triple figures in a blitzkrieg of bullets and pyrotechnics before the casino safe has even been cracked.

A large ensemble cast loses chunks of flesh to hungry mouths at regular intervals and a snarling zombie tiger, which once belonged to magician duo Siegfried & Roy, sinks its digital teeth into a boo-hiss villain with whisker-twitching relish.

Gore and glitz overwhelm emotional substance, a final reel reconciliation feels manipulative, but the whoop-inducing fun is, predictably, in the outrageously ambitious action set pieces.

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