Ana de la Reguera’s character on Army of the Dead was reduced to what she could do for the male lead and I’ll never Zack Snyder for it. This isn’t even taking into consideration what the movie did to it’s other Latinx character. We’re just going to focus on how this movie tried to paint Cruz as the badass female lead to turn around and give her a lacklustre ending that made me want to turn off the movie.
When the movie begins, Cruz is developed as the female lead who holds her own. She doesn’t need Dave Bautista’s Scott Ward to protect her. Cruz has got this. And the opening sequence and the recruitment process before they enter Las Vegas does good at luring you into a false sense of security that the only Latina in the movie is going to actually kick ass and have a chance of surviving this thing.
As they enter Las Vegas in Army of the Dead it becomes clear that the movie simply doesn’t care for Cruz’s character. She isn’t given the moments that should be garnered to her as the female lead. And then when it comes down to it, when you think she’s about to throw it down with the rest of the gang and you think Army of the Dead is finally going to show you what Reguera can do…she’s killed.
The manner of her death doesn’t really bother me. It was cheesy and seems impossible but what does “possible” even mean in a movie about Alpha zombies that can get other zombies pregnant? No, what really bothered me is the lead up to the moment where this badass Latina was reduced to what she could do for the male lead and his angst. And it’s utter bullshit with a side of, “Am I really seeing this shit?”
I knew something was up as soon as Cruz started breaking down the real reason why she went to Vegas to Ward, something that didn’t seem like her character would do based on what we learned about her. I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that the movie was going to do what I’ve seen other movies do when they need a sacrificial lamb to get the other characters riled up. And I was right.
Cruz was killed at a pivotal moment of her confession that would’ve changed her relationship with Ward. And I would’ve preferred to see Cruz sharing her feeling and then going out fighting like the champ she was. Instead, her death was used for shock value to show the strength of the Alpha zombie and set Ward and him on a collision course of action and mayhem.
It’s utter bullshit what Army of the Dead did to it’s only Latina character. And Zack Snyder, whose Snyder Cut for Justice League I thoroughly enjoyed, was absolutely unimaginative in what ultimately happened to Reguera and her character. We as Latinx people already struggle in finding proper representation on TV and in movies that reflect who we are as a community. And seeing Reguera in Army of the Dead felt like a chance to see someone from my community in on the action that Hollywood regularly denies us.
So, you can keep Army of the Dead, Netflix. You can keep whatever plans you have for a prequel, sequel, or anything in between and keep it to yourself. I don’t want any part of it, especially when Army of the Dead already showed their ass on how much they care for Latinx characters and their progression in this movie. I can’t imagine what foolery they’ll try to feed us next.
Army of the Dead is now available on Netflix.