Just watched PPZ a couple hours (one sleeping period) ago and still not sure what I’m supposed to make of it. It’s a … in lack of a better word, a confusing film. But as usual I’ll maybe make my mind up while writing about it, so let’s see how it goes:
Five sisters in 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies.
Dunno how familiar you are with the works of Jane Austen, particularly P&P, I have to admit I know shit about it. Am not a fan of neither the period nor its lame-o romanciers. That being said and out of the way, many audience members were surprised about how much stuff of the original novel made it even into this far fetched interpretation of the original material.
Yes, even in this zombiefied version many of the spoken lines are directly lifted from the novel. People even saying that PPZ is still mostly the P&P storyline … just with added zombies. Kudos for that.
Indeed I guess we’ve gotta be grateful for the filmmakers not turning the whole theme into a hilarious zombie comedy but keeping it intact as far as possible. We gotta feel the angst and pressure on our lovely protagonists as they have to decide to either follow society pressure and get married or to fight the zombie plague.
And all this is acted out in a quite serious way. In fact for long periods of the movie the looming zombie plague, threatening to overrun zivilisation, becomes nothing but just that: background noise while our boyz n gurlz have more pressing business to manage.
That’s a great decision on one hand … on the other a questionable move. Because this attempt to keep the original topic and atmosphere alive comes with a steep price: Boredom.
Yes, sorry to say but apart from the very convincing fight scenes PPZ doesn’t bring much excitement to the table. Not much suspense, not much intrigue … and no, absolutely no horror!
Yes, like most modern zombie movies (Day Z, Walking Dead, Resident Evil) PPZ isn’t much of a horror movie in the classical sense but more of a gorey slaughterhouse action flick. Buuuut, of course of the PG-13 ungorey variety.
And that is exactly the almost unexcusable mistake of PPZ: The raw idea of adding some zombie panache to the old and lame Austen romantic shit was shouting for a much more over the top Fuck Me Attitude! But the filmmakers took the easy way out, the cowards way.
Not once in the movie were we surprised or shocked. The whole plot was so fukn predictable and so in the end we gotta state: Many potential, much fail! 😦
And, boy, the ingredients were all there: Handsome males, pretty young ladies, suspension, adventure, intrigue and … zombies. Yeah, let’s not forget those! Zombies are important! And it would’ve been so easy to make PPZ a really great little jewel of a movie. If for example the scriptwriters would have written some cool one-liners, the one or other Fuck and allowed the literary figures a bit more freedom in self-expression and sexyness PPZ could’ve been all that and more. Too bad the filmmakers obviously forgot about all that stuff and were hypnoticed by their source material like bunnies in the headlights. They even forgot how to make a good movie. 😮
FFS people, the bitch is dead since 200 fukn years! If we can make funny movies about Hitler already 80 years later, why do we have to be so feely touchy with Austen’s shit?
Okay, The Conclusion now?
I guess I’ve already said everything there is to say about PPZ. They had everything they needed, a famous classic literary blueprint, a modern novel adaptation (with zombies), a whole bunch of talented and beautiful Britsh actors and actresses, a decent budget. It could’ve been a grunty, sweaty, zombie slasher movie that still would’ve had enough space and time for period perfect atmosphere and mannerisms, for love and intrigue, for the original pride and prejudice topic. Heck, they could’ve even made it a bit steamy …
But no, director Burr Steers (never heard of that guy before) choose the almost academic way to set his material in unexciting motion. Dunno if he maybe didn’t have a clear image of the film’s target audience group. I guess it was aimed at teenagers and young adults … but filmed as if it was made for 80-90 years old christian ladies and academics. 😦