Army of the Dead (2021)

Legionnaire’s Disease

I was completely taken by “Sucker Punch”: layered, visually imaginative. Narrative ambiguity and engineered parallel causality. “300” on the other hand seemed an unadorned testosterone arc. In both cases, the visual composition was notable, in terms of mastery of rhythm.

This is more on the simple side, albeit festooned with all the shooting to make the dead more dead. We have some simple plot reversals and character but what’s here is more personal.

This filmmaker lost his estranged daughter through what he will see as a tragic conflation of events as they both navigated a soulless world. So what is the first project he pours his soul into? A story of an estranged daughter and her father, given impossible tasks in a dangerous, soulless world. Except this time, the father dies and the daughter lives.

Watch it through that lens, and see profound pain. Then notice the not very subtle Groundhog Day reference: the team arrives and discovers another team has been there before. They discover both the plans and their skeletons. The skeletons have the same clothes and necklace as our team. Then, in the most eloquent speech of the movie, and quite out of place, Vanderohe posits that they are caught in an infinite loop. It turns out that (other than the daughter) he is the one that escapes, but then will start the cycle again.

Posted in 2022

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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