Review: No Pride, Just Prejudice in this Zombie Mess

Genre: Action |Horror| Romance Directed by: Burr Steers Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote Written by: Burr Steers (screenplay), Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith (novel)
Genre: Action |Horror| Romance
Directed by: Burr Steers
Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote
Written by: Burr Steers (screenplay), Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith (novel)

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Synopsis: Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge — an army of undead zombies. (Imdb)

For a movie that’s not short on action, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is quite the snooze fest. Lily James is tasked to revive this dead flick, which might be a feat that even Cinderella couldn’t dream up.

James plays Elizabeth Bennett, one of five girls who basically serve the purpose of being married-off to the richest guy. Their mother is like a used car salesman, with the goal of fending off her daughters as if she’s in a race against a clock. I would say that it’s a sexist portrayal featuring women as as some sort of objects that need to be rid-off to the next man in line, but it’s not the depiction that director Burr Steers presents. The women are actually strong female characters that kick a lot of ass in the film. On the contrary, the men in the film appear weak, desperate, and clueless.

Lily James does the best she can in this miscast role for her
Lily James does the best she can in this miscast role for her

Darcy (Sam Riley) is the authoritative and smug guy who partakes in a love/hate relationship with Elizabeth, often feuding against another. He’s just boring and stoic. What stands out about this character the most is the fact he carries a glass jar or flies that spot the zombies.

The Bennett sisters are the only interesting thing about this movie. Sure, James, Bella Heathcote, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, and Suki Waterhouse are all easy on the eyes, but they are just as entertaining beating up zombies. The fight choreography is solid. James might be willing to give Jason Statham a run for his money with some of her action packed moves. The movie shields itself from the poor storyline by injecting an overbearing amount of fight scenes, and turning up the volume to a level where you wish you brought some earplugs with. The costumes and makeup are nice, but having bubbling boogers dripping down a zombies face isn’t all that enticing to watch.

The only high point of the film are the Bennett sister
The only high point of the film are the Bennett sister

The film feels forced. From the constant focus on James’ cleavage to the grotesque shots of the zombies missing significant elements of their faces. This classic Jane Austen love tale is injected with zombies, which in turn makes it a glorified cheap version of 19th century England’s “The Walking Dead.” Is romance still part of the story? Well yes, but the zombie hunting overshadows it all. There are no clear-cut villains established. The zombies serve as the villains, but don’t pose any significant threat, as they appear to be the hunted ones instead of being the hunters.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is basically a combination of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” a rip-off Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice concept, a dash of “Charlie’s Angles”, and a pinch of “The Walking Dead.” Heck, I’m probably giving this movie more creative credit than it deserves. It’s unfortunate that the miscast James was wasted on this boring, bland, and thoughtless concoction. Zombies and 19th century novel based stories don’t work together, and this movie is proof of that. This movie lacks any bite, but you could turn into a zombie watching it.

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1hr 48min

Release Date: February 5, 2016

 

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  • 5/10
    Acting - 5/10
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    Cinematography - 7/10
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    Plot/Screenplay - 3/10
  • 4/10
    Setting/Theme - 4/10
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    Buyability - 3/10
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    Recyclability - 2/10
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    Lasting Impression - 2.5/10
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About Jim Alexander

When it boils down to it, Jim's passion is entertainment. Aside from being an avid sports fan, that follows all things NFL, NBA, and Soccer. He currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. At the core of his interests...movies! Whether trying to catch the newest flick coming out this weekend, or the latest On Demand release, to heated debates with his friends and colleagues about the most recent "Box Office Blunder". The passion for movies lies deep within him. When he isn't writing, he immerses himself in his other interests; Acting and Radio Broadcasting. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimRko.