Groovy, sexy zombie fun. It's not even a patch on Night or Dawn of the Dead, but inches out Day of the Dead by a hair - there really isn't a need to compare the four, though, except for personal reference.
Land of the Dead is interesting because it kind of marks a departure from the classic horror genre for George Romero's zombie movies. Twenty years after his previous zombie iteration, it's as if Romero realized that the conventional zombie doesn't really have what it takes to scare audiences. Instead of fighting in vain to make the movie into a tale of horror, he instead molds his craft into a dark, hilariously gory action film with an astronomical body count. Sure, there are still touches of horror (jump scares aplenty), but the intent is to engage and rile the audience more than scare them.
A lot of Romero's die-hard fans are disappointed in this movie. You know, THOSE zombie movie freaks - the ones who probably straight-up smell like the living dead. The ones who get all anal retentive because zombies CAN'T BREATHE OR THINK OR WHATEVER. God, I hope they can find forgiveness in their heart for their traitorous messiah, who retconned a genre he single-handedly popularized just a teensy bit. (And it's not even like he didn't hint at it - remember Bud from Day of the Dead?) If the zombies were inert, shambling husks, they wouldn't have been able to do anything amidst this movie's setting. It's a tale of post-apocalyptic geopolitics, two bigger words than anything you'll hear in the script, and idiot flesheaters wouldn't have been able to break the barriers that humanity had established in their wake.
The performances are mixed. Simon Baker is dull and John Leguizamo doesn't really offer anything new. Dennis Hopper is overstated, but the performance calls him to be, and he isn't nearly as hammy as he was in Blue Velvet, so he's all good. Asia Argento's a decent actress, but she has a shitload of presence. She is almost always the first thing you focus on on-screen, and not even for her looks (though I'm sure those don't hurt). Robert Joy is good in a likable/lame character.
I don't think I'll understand why Land of the Dead gets the drubbings it does, short of rabid idiotic fanboyism. It is an eminently watchable gore movie, a fun and frenetic actioner, and an hour and a half well-spent. This is the kind of movie that you watch with a few good friends after x amount of drinks. Maybe that's what the others are missing.