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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.