Friday, 31 July 2015

Maggie (3 Stars)

Happy birthday, Arnold Schwarzenegger! Yes, he's 68 years old today. I hope he's had a wonderful day, and it's only right that I should go to see his latest film in the cinema today.

This is a different sort of role for the former governor of California. He doesn't play the action hero that we've grown used to over the last 30 years. There's only one brief fight scene during the film, and he comes off worse.

It's a film about zombies, but it's not a horror film. It's a deeply moving family drama. In the near future a virus has spread across the world that creates necroambulism. I love that word! Despite 30% of the population being infected and turned into zombies, the plague is now under control. Those who are infected are captured, quarantined and humanely killed. There is no cure for the virus, so being bitten by a zombie is a death sentence.

Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a farmer in Louisiana. He finds out that his daughter Maggie has been bitten by a zombie. Due to the lengthy incubation period before a zombie becomes contagious -- up to eight weeks -- he's allowed to take her home. The film follows the last few weeks that father and daughter stay together as her condition slowly deteriorates.

Let me say clearly that this isn't a bad film. It's an extremely well written and well acted film. Yet it's difficult to enjoy. The film is so depressing. Maybe for the first 15 minutes the audience hoped there would be a happy ending, but after that it became obvious that the situation would only spiral downwards towards a tragic ending. The film seems destined to become a flop at the box office. There were only 15 people in the cinema today, and nine of them were members of my film group. After the film we were stunned. None of us actually said it was a bad film, but none of us could say that we were glad we had seen it. That's the reason for my low rating. I respect the film, but I can't say that I liked it.

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