Tuesday, 16 February 2016

REVIEW - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (BURR STEERS)


Here's a good idea: Pride and Prejudice, but with zombies! Isn't that a good idea? OK, maybe it's an alright idea, but there you go: it's an idea - nothing more, nothing less. It took me seconds to write, it took you seconds to read and it took writer Seth Grahame-Smith seconds to devise. It did not take anyone 107 minutes to do anything; it takes Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 107 minutes to go from first frame to final. So let's see how this alright idea holds up: think about this alright idea for 107 solid minutes, then get back to me. Were those 107 minutes fun? What was the precise level of intellectual, or artistic, or emotional stimulation? You probably imagined pretty ladies in flowing frocks, and you probably imagined zombies. You probably imagined something close to what writer / director Burr Steers imagined, and what he actually wrung out of this alright idea over the course of 107 minutes of approximately no intellectual, nor artistic, nor emotional stimulation, and equally no fun. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is badly written, replicating period dialogue with inadequate accuracy, and simultaneously flubbing its contemporary comedic quips. It's badly acted, with performances ranging from the serviceable (affable lead Lily James) to the abominable (Matt Smith finally reaching peak obnoxiousness). It's badly directed, with no apparent appreciation of how to properly establish any of its stylistic ambitions, and the whole film wholly lacking in the necessary blend of tension, dramatic portent and comedic lightness. It's an alright idea, blighted by an attempt to turn it into something greater, if your perception of greatness amounts to poorly-executed stabs at fan service, for fans of dubious taste and negligible intelligence. Here's a really good idea: don't bother.