The most iconic line of ruined aliens from the Army of the Dead
Despite the alien influence on Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s zombie horror spoils the best line in James Cameron’s blockbuster.
that of Zack Snyder Army of the dead has a lot of Aliens references but manages to spoil the best line of the iconic sci-fi sequel. by netflix Army of the dead is another zombie horror hit from Dawn of the Dead remake Snyder. While the director’s contributions to the DCEU have divided fans and critics alike, Zack Snyder’s second zombie horror proves the subgenre is a perfect fit for him.
A bloody, fast-paced, and surprisingly dark fusion of zombie apocalypse action and high-stakes heist drama, Army of the dead is nothing if not inventive. However, despite the heists, robots and the living dead, Snyder’s film is not entirely original, with some of its inspiration coming from a famous sci-fi horror success. Simply put, Army of the dead owes a huge creative debt to James Cameron’s 1986 blockbuster Aliens, something the film recognizes with many ironic nods.
However, despite the film’s obvious love for Aliens, the Netflix hit misses one of the best lines of the Extraterrestrial franchise during one of these many tributes. Ripley’s iconic statement to Paul Reiser’s slimy companion, Carter Burke, ”You know Burke, I don’t know which species is the worst. you don’t see them [expletive deleted] to each other for a fucking percentage“becomes Coyote’s”you don’t see them [expletive deleted] one over the other,” in Army of the deaditeration of the row. This is a seemingly minor change, but one that cuts the interest of the original quote. Ripley’s line serves to criticize Burke, the corporate ideology and “profit on humanity” as a whole, while Army of the deadis a relatively superficial comment.
The fact that Ripley adds the very important addendum “for a fucking percentage”Implies that Burke and the rest of Weyland-Yutani let their fellow human beings die for money, something even the eponymous deadly monster the Xenomorph would never do. It is an important element of the plot that will be revisited throughout the Extraterrestrial series and in the later Cameron films, namely that most monsters are pale to corporate greed, and few beasts can kill with the amoral impunity of a company that seeks to earn more silver. However, Army of the dead– though the heist storyline arguably focuses on similar themes of cheap living in exchange for material gain – cuts this vital context and simply notes that the zombies do not attack each other. Which is true, but not particularly incisive or thematically interesting.
Ironically, Snyder’s film abandons this context, as the question of why money matters even after Army of the deadThe zombie epidemic could have been used to launch a satirical critique of big business trying to profit from human suffering. The film could have deepened its comparisons with Aliens by portraying its characters as victims of indifferent corporate overlords who will send them to their ruin to save a dollar, and failing to do so underscores the problem Snyder’s film has with the tribute. Although he borrows a lot from Cameron’s Aliens, Army of the dead stops before taking the message from the film on board.
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