Pride & Prejudice and Zombies Review
Happy Friday good readers! Today I shall give you two reviews for the price of one. Two movies of note came out today: (three if you want to include the latest Nicholas Sparks movie which I have not yet subjected myself to,) the long-time in the works adaptation of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, as well as the Coen Brother's latest film Hail, Caesar! February isn't usually the kindest month to the world of cinema, but do either of these two films manage to be a light in the darkness? Or are they the usual doomed fare? We'll start with the zombies ladies first.
When I first heard this movie was in the works I was really excited. I hoped that the filmmakers would have fun with the material and not try to take it too seriously. And then I saw the trailers and I was worried. Really worried. As such, I didn't have too high of expectations as to the quality of the film...the only thing was I expected it to be much more zombies, and much less Pride & Prejudice. I was very surprised to discover it was the other way around! This film is almost a direct copy of the Keira Knightley Pride & Prejudice, just with zombies thrown in (so there's really no use in describing the plot...just think of it as an alternate universe of Austen's world, this time that took place in a zombie-infested England.) Is that a bad thing? For this girl, the answer is absolutely not. I had so much fun with this movie, I just wish there could have been some more action! Sometimes the filmmakers were too faithful in adapting the Pride & Prejudice part of the story, and you just wish that the characters' lives were a little more endangered. The action mixed with the period piece romance is the best part and when it gets it right, it really gets it right. It's a hard balance to strike throughout, but often I felt the filmmakers erred a little on being too safe.
Lily James makes a fantastic zombie-hunting Elizabeth Bennet. She's gorgeous and feisty. Sadly her Darcy is not quite her equal, and is a little more emo in this version...but I suppose he's perfectly tolerable, just not handsome enough to tempt me... (sorry for the P&P joke it was just too appropriate.) Luckily they work well together, and everyone is cast well enough. Matt Smith and Lena Headey in particular, are scene stealers. For a movie such as this, the pacing is everything. In the beginning, it was absolutely perfect the way they intertwined the zombie attacks with the well-known romance. The middle portion of the movie doesn't have the same tact in getting things right. It drags as it focuses more on the story we know when it should take more liberties. Still, I can't deny I had a lot of fun seeing one of my favorite stories zombified. I just hope an extended/directors/unrated cut makes its way to Blu-ray sometime. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is flawed but incredibly enjoyable for Austen lovers that don't take themselves too seriously, as well as action fans alike. It just might be the perfect date movie.