By: John M Jerva

Here’s some exciting news, well if you live near a Cinemark theater that is. It appears that Netflix has made a deal with the theater chain to release the Zack Snyder helmed, Dave Bautista led balls out zombie heist thriller Army of the Dead.

The film is set to hit the streaming service on May 21st but it will now launch nationwide on May 14th at all Cinemark theaters.

“Cinemark is excited to work with Netflix on our first wide release and provide movie lovers the opportunity to see ‘Army of the Dead’ in our theatres across the U.S.,” Cinemark’s Senior VP of Global Content Strategy, Justin McDaniel, said in a statement (courtesy of Variety). “Zack Snyder fans will love seeing the action in an immersive, cinematic environment with larger-than-life sight and sound technology.”

Unfortunately, I do not live near a Cinemark so I’ll be waiting for its streaming debut on the 21st.

Army of the Dead is an adventure film that takes place after a zombie outbreak that has left Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world. When Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), a displaced Vegas local, former zombie war hero who’s now flipping burgers on the outskirts of the town he now calls home, is approached by casino boss Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), it’s with the ultimate proposition: Break into the zombie-infested quarantine zone to retrieve $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked by the government in 32 hours.

Driven by the hope that the payoff could help pave the way to a reconciliation with his estranged daughter Kate (Ella Purnell), Ward takes on the challenge, assembling a ragtag team of experts for the heist. They include Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera), an ace mechanic and Ward’s old friend; Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick), a zombie killing machine; Marianne Peters (Tig Notaro), a cynical helicopter pilot; Mikey Guzman (Raúl Castillo), a go-for-broke influencer and Chambers (Samantha Win), his ride-or-die; Martin (Garret Dillahunt), the casino’s head of security; a badass warrior known as the Coyote (Nora Arnezeder) who recruits Burt Cummings (Theo Rossi), a slimy security guard; and a brilliant German safe cracker named Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer).

Scott finds an unexpected emotional hurdle when Kate joins the expedition to search for Geeta (Huma S. Qureshi), a mother who’s gone missing inside the city. With a ticking clock, a notoriously impenetrable vault, and a smarter, faster horde of Alpha zombies closing in, only one thing’s for certain in the greatest heist ever attempted: survivors take all.

The roll call for the film includes Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera, Huma Qureshi, Raúl Castillo, Omari Hardwick, Tig Notaro, Hiroyuki Sanada, Nora Arnezeder, Matthias Schweighöfer, Rich Cetrone, Garret Dillahunt, and Samantha Win.

Army of the Dead which looks all out insane is rated R for strong bloody violence, gore and language throughout, some sexual content and brief nudity/graphic nudity.” Snyder promises that “They are not what you think they are. Basically, these zombies aren’t your everyday, garden variety walkers as they are self aware and really, really crazy fast and combat effective. These aren’t your father’s zombies to say the least and that zombie tiger is just plain freakin’ cool. 

I was sold when I first heard about the project and now with this extended trailer that plays with a new version of Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler in the background as Bautista and crew blast their way around a decapitated Las Vegas with heavy firepower, I think this might be our Extraction for 2021. Say what you will, but Snyder knows what he’s doing and I back him 110%. He’s done something here that is hard to do and that’s inject new life into this subgenre that’s been done to death.

So if you live near a theater playing the film, definitely support the film and if not, then enjoy it on your big screen at home like I will! Review coming soon!

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