"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" falls flat
Burr Steers' "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is as weird as it sounds. The movie is adapted from the 2009 parody novel "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Seth Grahame-Smith, which is based on Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." However, this film fails to be entertaining for either a 19th century buff or a zombie junkie.
The movie more or less follows the premise of Jane Austen's esteemed novel "Pride and Prejudice." However, the zombie part of the plot is pretty tough to follow. There are many conflicting events in the timeline that eventually lead to a conclusion that falls flat.
Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and her four sisters are the epitome of Regency women. They can be proper when need be, they can dance the waltz and they can take out an army of the living dead. The film opens to a casual card game at a manor. Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) is a rugged, leather jacket-wearing zombie slayer. He walks in boldly and interrupts the game by announcing that one of card players among them is a zombie. Then, he proceeds to chop of the zombie's head off. The film laces elegant parties and bloody battles while telling the tale of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's tumultuous love parallel to the love saga of Mr. Bingly (Douglas Booth) and Jane Bennet (Bella Heathcote), Elizabeth's sister.
Although the execution is not perfect, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" conveys important messages about feminism. The women in the movie kick butt. Although there is still dancing and a lot of waiting around for a man to marry to come along, the women in the movie ultimately take care of themselves. In between tea and crumpets, the girls clean their muskets and are ready to kill. It's empowering for young girls and boys alike to watch females take charge.
However, there could be more zombies. For a movie with "zombie" in the title, there is a shocking lack of zombies. It probably should have been called, "Pride and Prejudice and a dash of Zombies." If you're wanting awesomely gory battles, save yourself the ticket, although the first ball in the movie does feature an epic fight between the sisters and grotesque zombies. The sisters arrive at the ball prepared with their made-up faces, elegant gowns and covert knives. The stunts and special effects during these scenes are carried out beautifully and excitingly. After that, however, the zombie count in the movie seems to decrease.
The hair, makeup and prosthetics department does an impeccable job in the portrayal of the zombies. The prosthetics on the zombies are perfectly disturbing which makes the film even more exciting. In addition, the costumes are true to the time period and help in establishing the setting.
The acting in "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is subpar. Sam Riley overdoes the tough guy act in Mr. Darcy. He chooses to use a raspy voice throughout the entire film. The purpose of the voice is clear, however the execution does not come across as well as it should it. Honestly, he just sounded like he needed a cough drop. His facial expressions are entirely too stale, even if he is supposed to be less sympathetic than the average human. In contrast, former Doctor Who star Matt Smith's portrayal of Parson Collins is probably the best part of the entire movie. He provided the comedic relief for an overly dramatic film. Smith takes a refreshing view on the character, adding a bit of his own personality. He steals the scene whenever he's on with his quirky, silly actions. His character adds a whole star to this rating.
"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is perfectly competent and nothing else. It's probably not worth it to watch in theaters, but maybe a good film to watch at home--just for the laughs.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is rated PG-13 for zombie violence and action, and brief suggestive material and is now playing in theaters everywhere.
Maniza Habib. Hi! My name is Maniza and I'm the 2016-17 managing and news editor! My favorite color is black because it looks good on everyone and I love to dance because anybody can! Also, babies are my favorite kind of people and I love watching The ... More »