Land of the Dead

"Weak"

Land of the Dead Review


More empty and lifeless than the zombies that overrunits banal B-movie post-apocalypse, "Land of the Dead" may bethe return of George A. Romero to the genre he created, but there's littleto distinguish this film from the countless gory imitators the writer-director'swork has spawned.

The fourth picture in Romero's "Dead" series,it takes place in a decimated world where a handful of rich elitists livein a self-contained, weakly defended luxury skyscraper and a lower classof humanity scrapes by in the streets behind protective walls and electricfences. But unbeknownst to all of them, the zombies in the wasteland outsidehave begun to think and organize.

This sounds like a fantastic -- and wholly original --concept that could take the genre to a scarier new level. But "Landof the Dead" fails to exploit the refreshing plot point any furtherthan is necessary to bring the undead through the city's pathetic ramparts,led by the moaning-groaning influence of a single zombie who has developeda primitive ability to reason.

The movie has nothing new to offer, although it is madea tad more watchable by something old -- Romero's simple, straightforwardcinematography that makes all the action (especially the mediocre scares)much clearer and eerily more immediate than the shake-shake, chop-chopstyle applied to most modern horror flicks. Its other great asset is thebody-decay makeup on the legions of walking corpses and the dead staresand lumbering gaits of some of the key zombie actors.

But these pluses don't count for much when the human performanceshave less charisma than those lead zombies. Bland Simon Baker from "TheRing Two" plays the hero, a vanilla altruistdetermined to save the city, and even good actors like John Leguizamo (asa black marketeer) and Dennis Hopper (as the greedy self-anointed kingpinof the skyscraper snobs) are hamstringed in flat, hackneyed roles of littleinterest.

The biggest problem with "Land of the Dead" maybe that Romero didn't put much thought into creating the world in whichit takes place, which allows for many obvious questions to arise. What'shappened to the government and why is there no organized effort to ridthe world of zombies? After all these years, why aren't the human enclavesat least better equipped to fight them off?

Many critics and fans who know Romero's penchant for socialmetaphor will give the film too much credit, reading into it politicaland class-struggle allusions. But there are no themes here that can't befound in any badly acted low-budget dystopic-future action movie.

The best thing I can say about "Land of the Dead"is that it's not aggressively stupid like the "ResidentEvil" movies,which represent the genre's big-budget bottom of the barrel. But for amodern zombie flick with real entertainment value, this picture doesn'thold a candle to two from last year: the "Dawnof the Dead" remake and "Shaunof the Dead," an ingenious spoof with realscares. And for a butt-kicking zombie movie with socio-political undercurrents,it pales in comparison to 2003's "28Days Later."

The most noteworthy part of this film was the use of UniversalPictures' 1930s logo in the opening credits for no apparent reason.



Land of the Dead

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th June 2005

Box Office USA: $20.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $46.8M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 126 Rotten: 45

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Riley, as Cholo, as Kaufman, as Charlie, as Slack, as Big Daddy, as Pretty Boy, as Foxy, Jennifer Baxter as Number 9, Boyd Banks as Butcher, as Mike, Alan van Sprang as Brubaker, Krista Bridges as Motown, Phil Fondacaro as Chihuahua, as Styles, as Photo Booth Zombie, as Photo Booth Zombie, Gregory Nicotero as Bridgekeeper Zombie, as Machete Zombie

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.