Monday, 8 February 2016

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016) mini review

I haven't blogged in almost a year, and even then the last film review I posted was a few years ago. But, having just been to an early screening of Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, I felt the urge to write again. So for the first time in a while, here is my review (note how university has improved my writing slightly):

Running Time: 108 mins
Directed by: Burr Steers
Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Lena Heady, Sally Phillips, Charles Dance
UK release date: 11th February 2016. 

Watching Eliza Bennent completely own Mr Darcy at a duel with swords and knives is something I never knew I wanted but, as it turns out, I needed it.

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies will mostly entertain those who are familiar with Pride and Prejudice, with not enough eating-of-brains it might not quench the thirst of zombie movie fans. There are plenty of intense zombie-revealing scenes and the odd scare to gently infuse the genres together, but it feels rushed and forced at the same time. 

The one thing the film does achieve is great casting; Smith in particular as the socially awkward but innocent Mr/Parson Collins, who is not as skilled with defeating zombies as the women, is the highlight. Mr Darcy on the other hand feels too much like a parody it sticks out, but thankfully Lily James is a likeable Elizabeth Bennet which keeps at least a little interest to what feels like a two hour long film.

Elizabeth and her sisters have been encouraged and trained as warriors, a needed role as the population of zombies continues to grow in England. It's refreshing to see female characters fight as good, or better in Elizabeth's case, than the men. The most entertaining parts of the film are the Bennet sisters fighting zombies, but sadly we only get to see this a couple of times. Even the renowned, zombie killer Lady Catherine de Bourgh's (Heady) is a disappointment as her infamous defeats are only alluded to and we never see her in action.

Colonel Darcy is a zombie killer with the belief that people should be killed after being bitten, even before they turn, similar to the regular, arrogant Darcy. The greatest scene of the film is the new interpretation of Darcy's proposal, where Elizabeth rightfully and finally gives Darcy a little of what he deserves in a duel. The film is funny and intense, but not as enticing as it wants to be.

Even with the girl-power and often amusing, intertextual depictions of Austen's classic, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies is not as exciting or original as the concept entailed.


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