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Dawn of the Dead (2004)
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Review Date: March 17, 2004
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: James Gunn
Producers: Marc Abraham
Actors:
Sarah Polley
Ving Rhames
Jake Weber
Plot:
A city is ravaged by flesh-eating zombies who pass their illogical disease onto others by chewing into them. It isn't long before most everyone is zombie-fied, save for a handful of "lucky" folks who decide to hide out in the local mall until shit settles. The problem is that the shit never settles and the zombies want in!!
Critique:
You know what? Maybe I just don't like zombie movies. I thought 28 DAYS LATER was a bore and a half, and other than this film's first 10 minutes, as well as its final kickass 20 minutes, this puppy bored the crap out of me. I guess there's only so much that I get out of a bunch of folks standing around, waiting to be chomped up by the undead. I liked the action parts in this film, but unfortunately, it doesn't have all that much action, other than a few sporadic moments throughout and its final guns-blazing ending. As soon as the film established its basic premise and the few people remaining hid out in an apparently impenetrable mall, the whole thing just slowed to a pulp with supposed "character development" between the victims-to-be biding our time until something interesting happened. Unfortunately, not much of interest happens until they all decide to turn into the "A-Team" and do something about their dire situation. In the meantime, we're left with a subplot about an asshole security guard who likes to be an asshole for the sake of being an asshole (great asshole, btw!), a subplot about Mekhi Phifer and his pregnant wife building up to an anti-climactic end and a subplot about a bunch of Canadian actors showing up and boring the story up until the much-welcomed finale. Even the film's conclusion, which goes "all out" with heads being blown to shits, zombies getting squashed by trucks and chainsaws cutting through bodies like a hot knife through my ass, irritated me to a certain extent with the infamous Spielberg SAVING PRIVATE RYAN camera-style being overused to the point of reminding me of the overrated BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Okay, we get it...the zombies are nuts and all over the place, but how about giving me more than a millisecond to look at one of them!

I don't know. This kinda shit just doesn't do it for me. It didn't scare me, it didn't involve me, it didn't make me laugh all that much and it even felt strangely edited, with the first half of the movie playing quite serious and suddenly switching to a 1-minute goofy montage of "the gang" fooling around. Huh?!? One or two titshots also made their way into the mix, but nothing spectacular. The film also includes an epilogue over the end credits that brings very little to the story or the ending. Negativity aside, the film looks great (loved the "washed-out" look), features a solid cast, particular Ving Rhames as Ving Rhames (but with a big gun!), Sarah Polley (who's still not sure if she wants to be a sell-out or an "artiste") and Jake Weber, the only semi-developed character of the bunch. Also, other than the obvious question about why 10,000 zombies can't break a simple "shatterproof" glass door to get into the mall, the film didn't feature too many plot-holes (then again, there isn't that much of a plot to begin with) and established a great premise early on (much like TAKING LIVES' brilliant online marketing ploy, DOTD also featured its first 10 minutes on TV, and was smart to do so) The violence and gore were also pretty cool when at hand, and its final 20 minutes were a friggin' all-out blast!! That said, for the love of THE PASSION, drop the fuckin' dog subplots in these fuckin' movies already...or better yet, if you go after a dog that you just met half an hour ago in a zombie movie, you deserve to have your brains fried, sauted and served for dinner! Overall though, the film didn't really bring much innovativeness to the genre, didn't feature enough killings and action (in my humble opinion) and spent too much time with the losers in the mall and not enough with the man-eating freaks outside.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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