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Movie Breakdown: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

February 5, 2016

Film

Pre-Screening Stance:

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies originally got underway in 2009 with David O. Russell as the writer and director and Natalie Portman as the star.  They left.  Then both Mike Newell (Prince Of Persia) and Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) declined to direct.  Eventually Mike White (Year Of The Dog) took the job but then had to drop out.  He was replaced by Craig Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl), who also ended up leaving the project.  This led to Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) becoming the writer and director and actually getting the thing made (with Lily James of Downton Abbey-fame as Elizabeth Bennett).  Whew.  What a ride!  Let’s face it though, after six years of all that tumbling around, it’ll be a miracle if the film isn’t a mess.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Just so you know, I’ve never read Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, so I have no idea how the movie stands up to the book.  As for the film itself, it’s okay.  The main thing that keeps it from being more than that is the super wonky tone that stems from the way it’s split between being a somewhat crafty parody, a generic love story, and a jarringly-shot action flick.  Mishmash, I believe, is probably the best way to describe it.  Again, I don’t know if the book reads the same way or not, so I’m going to assume that the film’s unevenness is a direct result of it being in production hell for such a long time.  Either way, the point is that it’s a difficult movie to settle down with since it’s so all over the place and feels ticky-tacked together.  You should skip Pride And Prejudice And Zombies until it’s 3am and you’re drunk on your couch with nothing else to watch.  At that point its scatterbrained ways may work for you.

One Last Thought:

It seems unlikely that Game Of Thrones’ Lena Headey will get offered anything but “sneering asshole” roles for the rest of her career.  I feel kind of feel sorry for her.  Then again, she’s really good at it, and work is work, so maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.

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