March 10, 2016

Theatrical Review: Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016)

"Pride + Prejudice + hardly any Zombies."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1374989/
*This is gonna be a short one.

We were really close to not reviewing this movie; both because everyone else in the world did, and it didn't really move us to want to wax poetic about it.

In the month since its release, PPZ has only earned $14 million at the box office, and only $10 of that has come from domestic sales. Given that the movie's production budget was only $28 million, to say that it bombed is more than fair.

Critics didn't love it, and it's pretty clear that audiences didn't take to it all that much, which is surprising to us; if nothing else, we assumed that with a crazy premise like that, along with a decent cast, that it would draw the Horror fans out, and become a bit of a Cult Classic. Having now seen it, we understand why it never got that chance.

I remember when Natalie Portman obtained the rights to turn the book into a movie, with plans to star in it herself. It makes me sad to think what this movie could have become, with her involved. Sigh.

In an alternate universe version of Regency Era England, zombies are a real thing, and they are quite deadly. The Bennett family lives on a large countryside estate, with father training his five virtuous daughters in the ways of karate and swordplay, so as to be able to fend off hordes of zombies in slow-motion, while wearing those heavy, cumbersome Regency Era dresses.

BAD GIRLS.
Elizabeth is the sassiest of the Bennett sisters, although Jane might be the hottest. Either way, they're all involved in some very important romances that they just don't have time for with all of their karate training. So melodramatic romance + occasional zombie fighting. That's pretty much the plot. 

*Look, if you want to know anything else about the plot, then go look up the cliff notes for Pride and Prejudice, because there's really no point in recalling this movie's plot here.

REGENCY ERA ZOMBIES WERE QUITE COMELY.
If you're looking for a decent adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that has a few zombies thrown in to make it offbeat and interesting, then you'll probably love this movie.

Now when I say that, I mean it's decent as a drama, although so many moments of comedy, action, romance, and Horror are thrown in at different intervals throughout, that it's not really fair to call it a drama at all. That's the main issue that we had with this movie; it tries to be so many things at once, that we're not really sure what it was actually supposed to be. Hell, I'm not even sure that the filmmakers themselves know.

First and foremost, the +Zombies aspect of this movie was severely lacking, to the point of them feeling like an afterthought. The only reason I was excited to see this movie was to see how they blended period drama with zombie carnage... only to find that there was very little zombie carnage to be had. I guess you could blame the PG-13 rating for that, but I'm more inclined to blame the lackluster script, and the poor directing.

WHAT A WASTE OF SEXY POTENTIAL.
When the movie did get to the action, things got even worse. If we have the right to expect anything from a movie titled Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, it should be some shameless, gratuitous, zombie ass-kicking, right? Well most of it was edited in such a quick-cut way, that not only was it maddening, but it was hard to tell who was killing what and when. I'm awful tired of movies like this using slow-motion during their actions scenes too. And again, there was far too little of it... although given the way that it was filmed and edited, that might be more of a blessing rather than a curse.

If I can say anything good about the movie, it's that It's a pretty movie to look at, with all of its Regency Era costumes and sets. The cast is also solid, and they do a good job with the material, even if that material is a bit of a jumbled mess of half-assery and watered-down, silly action.

I'm not sure why I expected the guy who wrote the abysmal Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to give us anything better with Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, but I did, and of course, he didn't. Shame on me.

"YOUNG MAN, YOU ARE QUITE RUDE!"
It's PG-13, so not really.

MAN, THIS COULD HAVE BEEN SO BLOODY AND GOOD...
It's PG-13, so no nudity to be found here.

THE BEST PART OF THE MOVIE.
The book is always better. Also... no, that's pretty much it.

DON'T WORRY, THE BABY IS PERFECTLY SAFE.
Pride + Prejudice+ Zombies isn't a bad movie, it's just not very good. You could probably watch it when it hits VOD, and not be too pissed off that you spent $7 to rent it, but at the same time, you'll be wondering why it wasn't better.

Maybe just wait until it hits Netflix.

D+

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies is in theaters now.

If Pride + Prejudice + Zombies had one thing going for it, it was definitely its cast of gorgeous, ass-kicking girls. They've even got their own Horror Hottie post right over HERE!

4 comments :

  1. Are you guys going to review 10 Cloverfield Lane?


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    1. Yep. Probably not this weekend though

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  2. I actually enjoyed most of this movie. Of course, I had read some of the comments about it and knew going in the zombies were used to push the drama forward and not the sole focus. I thought a couple of the characters were also too over the top like the ones played by Matt Smith and Lena Headey but that was how they were suppose to be so I guess you can't complain(just was too much IMHO). Would still like to see a sequel or even a prequel if they could step up the action and gore.

    I agree about not having enough zombie mayhem. Hopefully they will have an unrated version when it comes to the Blu-ray. BTW Lilly James was absolutely smoking......

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  3. I liked the film. To me it was a fun watch - visually well done and quite tongue in cheek. I was also more than okay with the amount (you say lack) of zombie action. If I wanted to see more of that, I would watch an actual horror film, not a comedy. ;-)

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