Pride And Prejudice And Zombies - This Movie Doesn't Quite Rock
Dir: Burr Steers
Starring Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Charles Dance, Matt Smith, Lena Headey, Douglas Booth, Jack Huston, Sally Phillips, Suki Waterhouse
The gentility of Austen, meets the violence of Romero. At least that’s the idea, and this film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s genre mash-up novel, manages both without ever deciding where its true interests lie.
Thus we have period trappings with exploding heads, the formality of Austen’s world dipped in a certain level of black humour that unfortunately is never really very funny, largely because for the most part it doesn’t seem to want to be.
Lily James makes a splendid Elizabeth Bennett however, and continues her rise to bona fide movie star, Sam Riley on the other hand has obviously worked out his “Darcy expression” and delivers it with no variation throughout the entire movie. For light relief the film uses Matt Smith’s prissy Parson Collins quite effectively, and Lena Heady’s eye patch wearing zombie killer, who really appears to be in a movie all her own.
It’s entertaining enough for the most part, but never really finds a consistent tone, aware of its two cross genre elements without ever reconciling how to bring them together. It lurches from straight period drama to violent outbursts to supposedly comic moments and back again, but never finds a winning balance. Nice idea on paper, less so on screen.
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