The Dead Don’t Die Review
What’s It About?
A small town called Centerville with its run of the mill everyday problems, is confronted with a much larger one – the onset of zombies after the Earth’s axis tilts.
Who’s In It?
Bill Murray (Ghsotbusters, Lost In Translation, & more recently Isle Of Dogs)
Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Silence, & more recently BlackKklansman)
Other notables include:
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton, We Need To Talk About Kevin, & more recently Suspiria)
Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry, Love & Friendship, & more recently The Snowman)
Director: Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers, Only Lovers Left Alive, & more recently Paterson)
After tackling vampires in Only Lovers Left Alive, director Jim Jarmusch has turned his attention to zombies in this one, with a remarkable all star cast. The film is set in a truly unremarkable US town named Centerville. Little goes on, aside from the usual kooks in any town, and there is little to challenge the implacable officers of the law – Ronnie Peterson, Cliff Robertson, and Mindy Morrison. Indeed the opening is quite a joy watching these three officers cruise around town, delivering their deadpan observations on the unremarkable townsfolk.
But then things start to change, following the Earth tilting on its axis on account of polar fracking. Aside from the animals fleeing, it appears that the dead are also rising from their graves – George A Romero style. But, ironically, just when you think things are going to get interesting, they don’t. The zombie plotline follows every standard furrow that’s been ploughed before, and those initially witty observations from Murray and Driver, soon slide into meta knowing asides which soon rankle with their all knowing smugness.
The ludicrously gifted cast do their best, despite all ultimately being cameos, so you have Steve Buscemi as the deeply unpopular farmer, Danny Glover as the likable diner regular, Tom Waits as a hermit, and even Iggy Pop as a zombie obsessed with coffee. Oh and Tilda Swinton, whose initial quirky Scottish mortuary owner soon wanders off into her own bizarre storyline.
Less funny than it thinks it is, and infinitely less funny than say Zombieland or Shaun Of The Dead, and much less original than all those zombie films that went before it, The Dead Don’t Die struggles to carve out a niche for itself, and seemingly soon runs out of ideas.
In A Nutshell:
An intriguing opening soon turns into a run-of-the-mill zombie movie, but with smug & self-satisfied script.
The average plot
The overall smugness of the writing