Saturday, November 19, 2005

Review: Land of the Dead

OK it only just opened in cinemas this week in the Czech Republic so here is the late review:

LAND OF THE DEAD is poor. Very poor. The film is only 90 minutes but i was checking my watch after 30 mins. Its pedestrian throughout, clunky, and sometimes cringeworthy. T
The first thing is the dialogue: people do not speak like that:

- "why do you call them flowers? they aint flowers in the ground kind, they be flowers in the sky, in heaven"

- "dont tell me your story! everybodys got a story, i dont want to hear it!"
- "whats your story?"

This sounds fine in script-form, but, to quote Harrison Ford, "you can write that shit but you can't say it".

Characters are total stock cliches:
(1) stoic, bland, competent man with "troubled past".
(2) sneaky unreliable minority gunslinger. he hates our hero, but they develop a mutual respect. (3) hooker with a heart of gold. she's feisty! look, she's using a gun!
(4) simple-minded sidekick. our hero looks after him (awww, how nice), but our hero needs him to!

Throw in assorted Evil Corporate Villains, Cute Girls In Military Positions Without Much Dialogue, Big Cuddly Meatheads, and you have a film that seems to be permanently stuck in the mid-1980s.

These are not characters you can grow to like, or to hate (the cast don't exactly do stellar work to help matters), so any sense of engagement in the central rich-dudes-in-ivory-tower oppressing the underclass "action-adventure" is nonexistent. Even if you could, the future world shown here is so poorly thought out you would soon lose any suspension of disbelief. The city and gated-community of Fiddlers Green are like rejected scripts from the already-poorly-thought-out post-apocalyptic world of MAD MAX 3. Romero jumps from scene to scene with little or no flow, interjecting zombie-gore at timed intervals, and overlaying an absolutely abysmal generic soundtrack. It feels like a poor relation in the recent zombie wave, there are no signs these films are from the guy that invented the genre in the first place.

1 comment: