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

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

This much more light-hearted sequel reinvigorates the franchise after Disney's quirky but murky 2010 reboot...

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Acclaimed filmmaker Whit Stillman reunites the stars of his 1998 drama The Last Days of...

Money Monster Movie Review

Money Monster Movie Review

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare...

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Advertisement
Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

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.