Saturday, December 12, 2015

Movie Review: Maggie

In a time where zombie lore is dominating, with things like The Walking Dead, Z Nation, World War Z, Zombieland, Resident Evil, Dead Rising and the upcoming Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, it was refreshing to see a more dramatic take on the genre.
Maggie follows Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin).  After a couple weeks of searching, Wade finds his daughter injured in a hospital.  She has been infected by a lethal outbreak that is transforming her into a zombie.  Maggie is released to her father's care to spend her last days with him and their family, before she's supposed to go into quarantine.  While Maggie is slowly turning, Wade stays with her, protecting her, knowing that the moment he will have to make the ultimate decision draws ever closer.

Making his directorial debut, Henry Hobson took a classic and heavily used genre, and turned it on its head, making a compelling family drama set during the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.  This also marks the first film for writer John Scott III.  The two of them are currently working on the futuristic sci-fi film, The Caves of Steel, based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Asimov.

It was nice to see Arnold in a dramatic role for a change, one that really makes you feel for his character.  He was very believable as a tough, yet loving father.  We did, however, get to see him do a small amount of action, taking out the only three full-on zombies in the film.  His chemistry with Abigail Breslin was phenomenal.  They paired perfectly as father and daughter, but she was also able to give a great performance on her own.  Joely Richardson played Caroline, Wade's wife and Maggie's step mother.  I didn't really care for her character at all.  I couldn't feel any chemistry between her and Arnold, which made it very difficult to like her role.

As a zombie film, I would normally expect a very fast paced, chaotic type of film, but the trailers for this set my expectations for a slower, more dramatic film, which is exactly what I got...and I loved it.  During the beginning of the film, it was slightly unclear as to whether this was a zombie film or just an outbreak film, due to the lack of actually zombies.  But once you finally see one, it's clear that this world had been hit with a zombie apocalypse in the form of a pathogen called the "necroambulist virus".

The fact that we only see three fully-turned zombies during the entire film is something you don't see nowadays.  People want blood and guts and death, so to see a film set in this world and have it focus on the family drama is a breath of fresh air.  The ambiguous ending also took me by surprise, but in a good way.

I would highly recommend this film for anyone interested in the genre, and for those who normally steer clear of zombie flicks, I say give this one a try.  You may actually enjoy this one.

The Merc's Score:  8/10

Check out the trailer for Maggie here:

No comments:

Post a Comment