Army of Darkness Review – The final piece of a brilliant trilogy

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Finally, after a whole two weeks of waiting for a friend of mine to return to my flat, I can finish off the Evil Dead trilogy. Was it worth waiting a fortnight to finish this one off? No, not really, but at least it’s over and done with now. By far the weakest in the trilogy, yet with some of the strongest performances and lines throughout, Army of Darkness is a truly strange blend.

A mixed bag to say the least, Army of Darkness hits all the right notes in its contemporary methods of storytelling, but at the same time pokes fun at the original movie in the exact same tone of Evil Dead II. Ash and his holiday nightmare and transportation back to the Dark Ages are retold once more, making this one of the most loosely tied trilogies of all time. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, except Evil Dead II did that already and I was a bit uncertain of whether or not I liked what it was trying to do at the time. Luckily Army of Darkness skips over some of the longer, more pandering moments and sinks its teeth right into the action.

Still, the narrative aside, I was ready for some gut busting hilarity and uniquely brilliant action starring one of my fastest growing favourites, Bruce Campbell. He manages to chew at the scenery a little too much in this one, and it makes his performance all the better. From his perfect one-liners to the sheer relative insanity of the setting, Campbell takes it in stride to deliver a performance suitably enjoyable in rounding off the trilogy.

The age-old time travel story but instead of a weary traveller coming to terms with his surroundings, he instead begins threatening locals, fighting skeletons and putting pretty much everyone (including himself) at risk. Nearing the level of anti-hero, Ash and his final big screen outing is a triumph, but underwhelming somewhat after the brilliance of its predecessors. Raimi’s direction once more is superbly experimental and it’s a shame we don’t see this side of him all that often anymore.

With a few more cringe inducing scenes than I had expected, and some extremely dated CGI, Army of Darkness does have one or two minor problems. That scene with the mini-Ash’s didn’t do anything for me. However the use of skeleton props the whole way through was something I genuinely couldn’t get enough of.

As funny as I had expected, but lacking that certain something the whole way through, Army of Darkness is a solid trilogy ender that will definitely be rewatched countless amounts of times with both friends and family. It’s a balls to the wall, enjoyable, hilarious movie that I can’t help but have a soft spot for one way or the other.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Army of Darkness
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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