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Review: Maggie

Maggie
05.07.2015
8 10

PLOT: In the midst of a viral outbreak, a farmer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) discovers his beloved daughter (Abigail Breslin) is infected. Now, he must keep her safe from quarantine even though he knows it’s only a matter of time before the daughter he once knew is replaced by a mindless creature who won’t recognize him.

REVIEW: When you put together Arnold Schwarzenegger and zombie movies, you probably wouldn’t think the result would be an art-house drama more in line with David Gordon Green than I AM LEGEND (which Arnold came close to starring in once upon a time) but sure enough, MAGGIE is a movie that clearly delights in subverting audience expectations. It was originally due to run as part of TIFF 2014 before being notoriously pulled at the eleventh hour by its distributor. I have no idea why they did this considering the undeniable quality of the film, as this no doubt would have played to critical acclaim (with fest director Cameron Bailey already having gone on record praising it).

Sure enough, MAGGIE is an elegiac, character-driven piece of sci-fi/horror. Think of the most depressing episode of The Walking Dead ever and you’ll have a notion of what they’re going for. Happily, first time director Harry Hobson and screenwriter John Scott 3 are almost entirely successful, making a new-wave kind of zombie movie that will likely tug at your heartstrings more than it will scare you – and that’s not a bad thing at all.

As in most seriously minded zombie fare, from 28 DAYS LATER, through THE WALKING DEAD, the z-word is never uttered once. Here, the “infected” typically maintain some semblance of their former selves, even though they’re almost entirely animalistic in their pursuit of humans as food. What’s MAGGIE’s big hook is that here the infection is agonizingly slow, taking weeks. Most infected people are sent to government death camps and euthanized, but thanks to Arnie’s friendship with a government doctor, he’s able to take his girl home to be cared for so that when the eventual end comes, she can die with her family.

Essentially, this is a two hander with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin truly being co-stars, with neither being more prominent than the other. Breslin’s always good and makes for a sympathetic heroine. She has a few really great scenes, such as a bit later on when she goes out for one last night out with her friends and discovers that her former boyfriend is now infected himself, leading to a tender moment that’s unexpectedly bittersweet.

As good as she is (and she’s great) the real surprise here is Schwarzenegger. This is easily the best performance he’s given since the nineties (although he was very solid in a few bits of COLLATERAL DAMAGE). Clearly, Schwarzenegger put his heart and soul into it, and being a father himself he’s extremely convincing as a conflicted father who can’t bring himself to give up on his little girl even though all hope is lost. His relationship with Breslin is extremely warm, and he’s remarkably convincing as a kind of mid-west farmer despite his still considerable frame and famous accent. It’s crazy how quickly you’ll buy into him playing this very atypical part.

Anyone hoping to see Arnie dispatching zombies left and right will be disappointed as when the handful of kills come, they’re achingly sad. A scene early on where Schwarzenegger pleads with an infected neighbor to show him some semblance of humanity and recognition is arguably the finest piece of acting he’s ever done. He’s stunningly effective and remarkably subtle.

First time director Harry Hobson really has given us a unique take on the zombie apocalypse, and his evocative, atmospheric approach is refreshing as genre films are rarely allowed to be this artistic and elevated. The cinematography (even on a streaming non-HD screener) is gorgeous, and the soundtrack by David Wingo ranks with the best he’s done for David Gordon Green. Truly, this is a really noteworthy genre effort. The only downside is that the art-house crowd that would appreciate this will likely be prejudiced against it due to the genre and Schwarzenegger’s involvement, despite the fact that he’s truly giving the performance of his life here. Don’t make this same mistake. Check it out (legally please – it needs your bucks) as this is the kind of serious genre work we don’t see enough of.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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10:07PM on 05/10/2015

7/10

Pretty impressive film, I'm honestly stunned at how affecting Arnold was in this role and it is easily his best performance ever. Abigail Breslin was also a revelation in her role conveying the multiple layers and transitions her character goes through. The story was decent but almost too slow at times and I felt the premise could have been taken a little further, especially the denouement which could have been more satisfying. Overall this was a solid film and I hope Arnold continues to choose
Pretty impressive film, I'm honestly stunned at how affecting Arnold was in this role and it is easily his best performance ever. Abigail Breslin was also a revelation in her role conveying the multiple layers and transitions her character goes through. The story was decent but almost too slow at times and I felt the premise could have been taken a little further, especially the denouement which could have been more satisfying. Overall this was a solid film and I hope Arnold continues to choose these more interesting roles and less mainstream ones i.e. Terminator 5.
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12:14PM on 05/10/2015
Good for Arnie.
Zombies for me personally are on their death bed, but this movie seems to put the human element back in. Eager to see it.
Good for Arnie.
Zombies for me personally are on their death bed, but this movie seems to put the human element back in. Eager to see it.
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9:07AM on 05/08/2015
From everything I've been reading I am really curious to see this movie. I'm not a fan of drama nor really zombies but very curious to see Arnold in this.
Also, I remember when that demon movie came out and Arnold had a crying scene and people complained.
From everything I've been reading I am really curious to see this movie. I'm not a fan of drama nor really zombies but very curious to see Arnold in this.
Also, I remember when that demon movie came out and Arnold had a crying scene and people complained.
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8:21AM on 05/08/2015
Good for Arnie... hopefully he takes on more roles like this
Good for Arnie... hopefully he takes on more roles like this
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6:07AM on 04/30/2015

He's Back!

I always felt that Schwarzenegger got unfair criticism for his acting. But he has surprised me in a number of movies. Granted his latest Post Governor films haven't been great. But he was made for the role of Dutch and Doug Quaid and it is very rare that I have watched one of his movies and not been sold by his performance. So its great news that he gives a great performance in this and prove the Naysayers wrong.
I always felt that Schwarzenegger got unfair criticism for his acting. But he has surprised me in a number of movies. Granted his latest Post Governor films haven't been great. But he was made for the role of Dutch and Doug Quaid and it is very rare that I have watched one of his movies and not been sold by his performance. So its great news that he gives a great performance in this and prove the Naysayers wrong.
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4:44AM on 04/30/2015
cool to hear that this is a good movie. I really wanted it to be!
cool to hear that this is a good movie. I really wanted it to be!
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-1
9:49PM on 04/29/2015
...
...
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+0
9:48PM on 04/29/2015

Just make a good movie..

After reading that, my feeling is that Arnold ought to go find a good drama script. No Zombies, no being an ex-Commando or a robot with a heart of gold.

Go find a good story without a novelty sting and do some acting.
After reading that, my feeling is that Arnold ought to go find a good drama script. No Zombies, no being an ex-Commando or a robot with a heart of gold.

Go find a good story without a novelty sting and do some acting.
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7:28PM on 04/29/2015
I have been intrigued by this film and I will not be satisfied until I see it. The premise, the content and what I know about it makes me want to see it. I will see it. That is why I watch movies.
I have been intrigued by this film and I will not be satisfied until I see it. The premise, the content and what I know about it makes me want to see it. I will see it. That is why I watch movies.
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3:51PM on 04/29/2015
Looks great. Sounds great.
Looks great. Sounds great.
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2:56PM on 04/29/2015
Zombie movies can be artsy, but I still think it's a wasted opportunity for him to be shown killing some zombies. After this, we probably won't get an Arnold action zombie movie. So I'm conflicted. Good for him for doing some serious acting. I just wish it was for a different kind of movie.
Zombie movies can be artsy, but I still think it's a wasted opportunity for him to be shown killing some zombies. After this, we probably won't get an Arnold action zombie movie. So I'm conflicted. Good for him for doing some serious acting. I just wish it was for a different kind of movie.
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2:41PM on 04/29/2015
I love Arnold Schwarzenegger films. I love artsy dramas. I certainly never thought I'd see the two combined in one, but I am thoroughly pumped to see the result.
I love Arnold Schwarzenegger films. I love artsy dramas. I certainly never thought I'd see the two combined in one, but I am thoroughly pumped to see the result.
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2:26PM on 04/29/2015

Please. This movie is getting horribe reviews all around.

There is no way this movie can be any good. The trailer was crap and it looks like an indie project gone wrong.
There is no way this movie can be any good. The trailer was crap and it looks like an indie project gone wrong.
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2:32PM on 04/29/2015
All the horrible reviews I've read just say "it's a zombie movie without action. It's a zombie drama. That's stupid. I reject your zombie drama and Arnold attempting to evoke real emotion and human subtlety" so I'm taking the negative reviews with a silo of salt.
All the horrible reviews I've read just say "it's a zombie movie without action. It's a zombie drama. That's stupid. I reject your zombie drama and Arnold attempting to evoke real emotion and human subtlety" so I'm taking the negative reviews with a silo of salt.
2:45PM on 04/29/2015
It has a 7.9 rating on IMDB.
It has a 7.9 rating on IMDB.
3:38PM on 04/29/2015
once again, nothing good to say...at all.
once again, nothing good to say...at all.
3:58PM on 04/29/2015
And 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. So much for "horrible reviews all around."

Real master debaters check their facts before opening their mouths.
And 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. So much for "horrible reviews all around."

Real master debaters check their facts before opening their mouths.
5:39PM on 04/29/2015
Masterdebator - literal translation. Master = King, De = of the. Bator = wankers

Hence forth you shall be known as King of the wankers with you silly silly views
Masterdebator - literal translation. Master = King, De = of the. Bator = wankers

Hence forth you shall be known as King of the wankers with you silly silly views
11:29PM on 05/04/2015
Optimus: wow
Optimus: wow
2:04PM on 04/29/2015
When I first saw the trailer I thought "Holy shit, we're gonna have to add Oscar nominee, if not winner, to Ahnuld's world class list of achievements" and if I know anything about Hollywood, it's that when mediocre actors give pretty good performances, i.e. the best of their own career, they usually get acknowledged with an Oscar nod. Particularly if that nod feels 'over due' and they're an industry legend and getting up there in age. Arnold Schwarzenegger fits the bill to a T.
When I first saw the trailer I thought "Holy shit, we're gonna have to add Oscar nominee, if not winner, to Ahnuld's world class list of achievements" and if I know anything about Hollywood, it's that when mediocre actors give pretty good performances, i.e. the best of their own career, they usually get acknowledged with an Oscar nod. Particularly if that nod feels 'over due' and they're an industry legend and getting up there in age. Arnold Schwarzenegger fits the bill to a T.
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5:54PM on 04/29/2015
Did the movie play in a theater? Apparently that's what marks a film as eligible for nomination, or something.
Did the movie play in a theater? Apparently that's what marks a film as eligible for nomination, or something.
+2
1:48PM on 04/29/2015

sorry, had to go there.

Doctor: your daughter is infected.
Arnold: no. she's not. she can't be!
Doctor: she has the tell-tale signs of infection. see this tumor on the back of her head?
Arnold: it's not a tumor!!!

but seriously, i'm looking forward to watching this.
Doctor: your daughter is infected.
Arnold: no. she's not. she can't be!
Doctor: she has the tell-tale signs of infection. see this tumor on the back of her head?
Arnold: it's not a tumor!!!

but seriously, i'm looking forward to watching this.
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2:05PM on 04/29/2015
Damn it this is cheap but spot on hilarious.
Damn it this is cheap but spot on hilarious.
2:33PM on 04/29/2015
Arnold: "Don't disturb my daughter...she's DEAD tired."
Arnold: "Don't disturb my daughter...she's DEAD tired."
3:16PM on 04/29/2015
Lol. You guys made my day.
Lol. You guys made my day.
3:50PM on 04/29/2015
With that ax in hand; "Get to the wood-CHOPPA!"
With that ax in hand; "Get to the wood-CHOPPA!"
3:56PM on 04/29/2015
Of course if he ends up having to kill his daughter he could always say; "Hasta La Vista Baby!" Sorry I am done now.
Of course if he ends up having to kill his daughter he could always say; "Hasta La Vista Baby!" Sorry I am done now.
11:31PM on 05/04/2015
bruce; i clap to you
bruce; i clap to you
+0
1:43PM on 04/29/2015

Nice....

I didn't think he had it in him.....
I didn't think he had it in him.....
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