Dawn Of The Dead
May 5, 2016 § Leave a comment
Continuing the Snyder Trainwagon (did I just seriously wrote that?) with what is his feature-length directorial debut that is the remake of Dawn of the Dead. And this movie actually came in the right time since the Zombie Apocalypse genre was back in full swing at that time thanks to 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead but as it was riding high, the genre slowly went downhill before it became a dying trend with the exception of few movies like Maggie and shows like The Walking Dead and Z Nation of course. And given that this is one of Zack Snyder’s projects, I thought it was more fitting to talk about the self-proclaimed godfather of the genre, George A. Romero, since he’s highly responsible for the original movie.
George start it out with cult classic Night of the Living Dead and went on to movies like The Crazies and Martin but he cannot let go of the undead which is why he became somewhat a one-trick pony but with few more good ones like Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead. And he also made crap like Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead which one wonder if somebody told him to do something else other than zombies at that time. He didn’t stop though since he’s writing Zombies in comics nowadays. Overall, Romero is and will always be an influential filmmaker despite having flaws. With that out-of-the-way, the question to that is this – does Zack’s take on the 1970s classic live up to expectations?
We get to that shortly so first the synopsis. The movie primary focuses on Ana (Sarah Polley) who returns home from work and thought she’s living a normal life with her husband Luis (Louis Ferreira). However, a day later, their neighbor walks into their room with Luis going to her only to find she’s already dead and bitten him which panicked Ana to hide in the bathroom before she escapes to see her town in panic. She drives before crashes but survive only to find police officer Kenneth Hall (Ving Rhames) along with Michael (Jake Weber), Andre (Mekhi Phifer) and Luda (Inna Korobkina) going to the nearby mall for survival which leads to Ana joining them.
The five then later encountered three security guards – CJ (Michael Kelly), Bart (Michael Barry) and Terry (Kevin Zegers) – already living in the mall and CJ wanted them out but he reluctantly decides to let them stay under their rules. The next day, a truck speeds by and CJ refuse to let them in but surprise, Ana and others thought otherwise and led to only CJ and Bart as prisoners instead for a brief time, with Terry helping the survivors out. With a couple of survivors from the truck dead, the survivors decide to live their life in the mall as their home… but they decide to escape! A mall that has enough food and supplies to survive until the zombies rot themselves to death!
And the plan to escape involves two shuttle buses in the garage that needs to be redesigned with weaponry and shields and travel to the nearby sea to get on to a yacht owned by Steve (Ty Burrell) and with CJ and Bart joining them in the process. Also, they need to pick up fellow survivor Andy (Bruce Bohne) who is surviving in his weapons store near the mall but is starving (which btw, he has enough ammo and other stuff to kill every zombie in sight before he runs to the mall before the others come, I am seriously nitpicking a zombie movie here). Long story short, lives were lost and the escape was successful but with the credits rolling out revealing the remaining fates when they get to an island.
Now this is me being legitimate here but this remake is actually pretty good. While sure, there is a lack of social commentary of consumerism in this one (but maybe they went to social collapse instead) and a few flaws are noticeable but it did have a good cast, got itself a great core, excellent soundtrack from Johnny Cash to Richard Cheese and it didn’t went out its way to be a pointless, money-hungry remake like how Point Break and Poltergeist have suffered so it’s a movie made in the right moment.
So really, I did say it’s a good movie and one could say it’s one of few notable examples on why Zack Snyder is not a hack director. Yeah, it’s just a tad few against many that say he is (and keep in mind, I am kind of the “many” crowd) but hey, this is how he start at the top. It’s his other movies with one or two exception that proves enough that he didn’t stay that way and well, the next movie is the kind that I have issues with. Uh, so anyway, do check this movie and also look up the original in either version since trust me, the 1978 one is a horror classic.