Monday, October 04, 2004

Shaun of the Dead

(2004) ***

I was really looking forward to this movie. I’ve read numerous positive fanboy and non-fanboy reviews for this British comedy/homage to the zombie genre. Here’s a description of the film that I clipped from someone else: In the middle of the British contemporary society Shaun (Simon Pegg) works for a small electronic company in order to make enough money for the weekend and rent. Shaun does not have any dreams or expectations on life more than walking down to the Winchester, the local pub, and gulping a pint of beer. This is something that annoys and bores his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), as she gives Shaun one final ultimatum to change his life perspective and do something with his life. This is easier said than done as Shaun quickly realizes when Liz drops him like a bad habit.

Troubled Shaun tries to find a way to fix his relationship with Liz, but it is all in vane as she wants nothing to do with him. In the backdrop of Shaun's love issues he misses crucial news, as he usually does, relating human attacks on other humans are taking place where they try to bite or eat each other. Instead Shaun and his best friend, the freeloader Ed (Nick Frost), who spend the days at Shaun's place playing video games, go to the Winchester to drown their sorrows. Simultaneously as London is stricken by an outbreak of zombies, Shaun gets drunk, works on his hangover, and goes to the local convenient store for a soda. Shaun's first contact with the zombies is hilarious as they assume that the person is excessively drunk as the zombie is moaning and stumbling towards them. However, when the two slackers are attacked, the film turns both gory and bloody. This film started out great. The opening few minutes are hilarious as we’re introduced to the main characters. The camera work is great (think Sam Rami) and the British humor is really funny. Something strange happened along the way, however. About halfway through the film I kind of forgot I was watching a comedy. The film evolved (or is it devolved) into a standard zombie-shoot-‘em-up. I wouldn’t have minded, except I was really in the mood for a comedy and the zombie thing has already been done to death (pun intended). All in all it was a fun movie but not the “cult classic” I was hoping for. The reviews were so overwhelmingly positive that I think I set my expectations a bit too high.

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