Skip to main content

Incredibles 2 All-New Teaser Trailer, Poster & Image

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Genre hybrid is a failure from Austen to Zombies.

Review by Brandon Wolfe

The concept of zombies shambling their way into the prim-and-proper realm of Jane Austen is a fitfully amusing one. It might have made an agreeable SNL sketch. The book in which the mash-up was birthed seems to have its fans, but the film version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies most certainly does not work. It’s a curious misfire, where it’s difficult to imagine even how it might have worked, in a theoretical sense, given that once you get past the novelty of the logline, there isn’t really anywhere left to go.

Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, who has managed to parlay this gimmick into a very happening screenwriting career, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies offers precisely what its title promises, which is to retell Austen’s story with the undead peppered into it. Once more, it’s 19th century Britain and the Bennet family, a brood bustling with five daughters, is making the acquaintance of the handsome and wealthy Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) and his far less sociable friend, Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley). Mr. Bingley strikes up an instant, mutual infatuation with the eldest and prettiest Bennet daughter, Jane (Bella Heathcote), while Mr. Darcy immediately finds himself on the bad side of the headstrong Elizabeth (Lily James). The family’s matriarch (Sally Phillips) is driven by the desire to successfully marry off all of her daughters to eligible suitors, and soon a foppish boob of a clergyman, Mr. Collins (Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, the only actor here attempting to have or provide any fun), comes calling, also desiring Jane, but willing to settle for another, lesser Bennet. Soon after, the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy runs from cold to hot while the bond between Jane and Bingley hangs in the balance.


And now there are also zombies. All of the original novel’s romantic complications now take place against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. London has become a walled-off city with only one bridge left standing to connect it to the outside world. The Bennet sisters are all trained in the martial arts and skilled with blades. Mr. Darcy is a professional zombie hunter, using special flies to ferret out the living dead. Victorian refinement finds itself mussed by blood and viscera. The film also attempts to carve out some new ground in zombie lore, though none of it makes much sense. These zombies are intelligent upon their initial transformation, only distinguishable from the living due to whatever cosmetic damage they have sustained. They are articulate and capable of strategizing. They only grow into the more familiarly mindless breed after having feasted on brains enough times.

But putting all of that aside, this is still very much Pride and Prejudice first and foremost. To an almost shocking extent, actually. The film plays the Austen material completely straight, as though no less than ‘90s Kenneth Branagh were responsible for it. This is not the absurd horror-comedy hybrid one might have expected. The zombie material is very much secondary in pertinence, and there are entire scenes where someone, at a passing glance, would have no reason to think this was anything other than the umpteenth adaptation of the literary classic. Its idea of innovation is to take the scenes of Elizabeth and Darcy verbally sparring and incorporate physical sparring into them as well. The film simply sets zombies loose into the proceedings without allowing it to alter the original story all that significantly.


And maybe that’s the point? There is some novelty at the kernel of this, and maybe the book managed to crack the code for how to make it fly, but it’s difficult to watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies without wondering just who it was intended for, or who will even enjoy it. “Janeites” will find the zombie element juvenile and distracting, horror fans will be bored to tears by the starchy love story and the film doesn’t mesh the two ingredients together in such a way that the mixture becomes its own unique concoction. The film isn’t funny, it isn’t scary and it isn’t moving. It isn’t really anything, beyond a showcase for handsome period costuming. Apart from Smith (and, to a lesser extent, James and the raspy Riley), none of the other actors, or characters, make any impression whatsoever, and there are quite a few of them. This is also a profoundly inept zombie film, its PG-13 rating rendering it mostly free of gore (The Walking Dead provides more carnage in single scenes than you’ll see in this entire film). You watch this movie and realize that you’re in the presence of a rare bird: a movie made for no one.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Morbius: The Living Vampire Film In The Works

The Spider spin-offs keep on coming! With Venom now shooting, an even more obscure character from the web-slinger's extensive comicbook past has now been unearthed, with plans for a movie. Power Rangers writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are in talks to craft the script for Morbius: The Living Vampire.

Sony is pushing ahead with another potential Spider-movie, which, like Venom, is unlikely to be linked to the MCU. What it will boast, however, is the story of Michael Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who tries to cure a rare blood disease using an experimental treatment that combines electroshock therapy and vampire bats. The results are predictably catastrophic, and he's transformed into... well, the title should be a clue. He has some of the traditional vampiric qualities – he ingests blood to live, and conversely is not fond of bright light. He can fly, has superhuman strength and healing capabilities. When he bites victims and drinks their blood, his attac…

Enter For A Chance To Win A Family Four Pack To See COCO In Minnesota

© 2017 Disney/Pixar Enter for your chance to win a family four pack to see COCO in Minnesota on November 15th at 7:30PM.

In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal) on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead.



In theatres November 22!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

Website: movies.disney.com/coco
Facebook: /PixarCoco
Twitter: @pixarcoco
Hashtag: #PixarCoco

While supplies last. Once all allotted passes are redeemed, the code will no longer be valid. Supplies are limited.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Limit one (1) admit-two pass per person. This film is rated PG. Must be 13 years of age or older to win passes. Employees of all promotional partners and their agencies are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by [12:00PM], [11-19-2017] to be eligible to receive pass. Winners will be contacted via e-mail to receive their pass. Sponsors not responsible for…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR In Dallas

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR on December 5th at 7:00 PM in Dallas

During the early days of World War II, with the fall of France imminent, Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance, and with the Allied army cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman). While maneuvering around his political rivals, he must confront the ultimate choice: negotiate with Hitler and save the British people at a terrible cost or rally the nation and fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright, DARKEST HOUR is the dramatic and inspiring story of four weeks in 1940 during which Churchill’s courage to lead changed the course of world history.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

#DarkestHour
http://www.DarkestHourFilm.com
https://www.facebook.com/darkesthourfilm
https://twitter.c…