Thursday, 25 February 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2 Stars)

When a film has a title like this it just has to be seen, doesn't it?

I read Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice" when I was a teenager. It's been adapted as a film several times, but I've never watched any of the film versions, so I can barely remember the story. I just recall that it was about the genteel like of the English nobility. Supposedly the plot of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" closely follows Jane Austen's novel, apart from zombies being added to the story.

The Bennet family has five daughters that the parents want to marry into good families. Any prospective suitors must be handsome, well-mannered and rich. The Bennet sisters are certainly ideal partners for any man. All five have been trained as zombie hunters. The oldest daughter, Elisabeth, was trained in China, while the other four were trained in Japan. There seems to be some prejudice against Chinese fighting arts, but this isn't fully explained.

Several men arrive in the area where the sisters live and vie for their affections. Colonel Darcy is arrogant, but a highly skilled zombie hunter. Parson Collins is a newly appointed priest. Mr. Bingley is the owner of a nearby mansion. Mr. Wickham is a soldier. The men have secrets in their past that disguise their true motives.

The film's premise is its greatest weakness. The good manners and the understated passions of the main characters slow the film's action to a crawl. If the film had departed further from the style of the original novel it would have been more exciting. Instead of this I found the film's characters annoying, especially the men. The only thing I found positive was the performance of Matt Smith as Parson Collins. His hilariously awkward mannerisms show that he has the talent to become a great comedy actor.

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