starring Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Garret Dillahunt
screenplay by Zack Snyder & Shay Hatten and Joby Harold
directed by Zack Snyder
by Walter Chaw A band of highly-outfitted soldiers enters a hive of monsters on a rescue mission. Accompanying them is a person scarred psychologically by a fight with these monsters, as well as a representative of an evil corporation that is more interested in harvesting the monsters--not for any humanitarian purpose, but to use as WMDs--than in exterminating them. For a little heroic comic relief, meet the not-completely-ordinary-seeming pilot, who, at a moment of crisis, appears to have disappeared only to reappear once our survivors have lost all hope. That's right, Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead is a remorseless, brazen rip-off of Aliens, down to outfitting a monster-killing badass exactly like Jenette Goldstein's "Vasquez" and to cribbing a few lines from James Cameron's script wholesale. At some point, Aliens apparently became an obscure, seldom-seen relic of a forgotten past ripe for strip-mining in this hotly-anticipated, deeply disappointing and distended genre epic. To be fair, Army of the Dead doesn't only rip off Aliens (which it does remorselessly): it also lifts Richard Matheson's I Am Legend conceit of "who are the real monsters, here?" in conceiving of a zombie civilization attempting to find purchase in the Nevada desert. If you have to steal, may as well steal from the best.