Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Maggie Review... or, "It's Not a Tumor, You're a Zombie!"

Maggie, the art house zombie apocalypse movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last month, is living proof that art house and Arnold don't mix. Written by John Scott 3 (yes, that's his name) and directed by Henry Hobson, Maggie is the story of a farmer trying to spend as much time as he can with his infected daughter before she crosses over into being a full-blown zombie.

It's not a tumor, you're a zombie!

In the world of Maggie, the zombie apocalypse is known and carefully tracked by the government. The infected are monitored and diagnosed and even treated as long as possible; unfortunately, there is no cure and eventually the infected must be put into quarantine when the time of their change is at hand so they can be euthanized. When his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) is bitten, silent and stoic farmer Wade (Schwarzenegger) refuses to  send her into quarantine, believing instead that their love for each other will keep her human as long as possible, and that when the time comes, he'll be able to do what must be done to her himself. In the process, Wade drives away his wife Caroline (Joely Richardson) and gets into scuffles with neighbors and the local police in what remains a very boring flick despite it all. There's really none of the violence and bloodshed you expect from a zombie movie, which is fine because the family drama should be enough to keep your interest. Except, it isn't.

The problem is that the acting is nowhere near good enough to carry the drama. Richardson is good in her small role, and she does a good job with taking an unlikable character who is unlikable solely because she is the voice of reason and making her sympathetic. Breslin is solid as well, playing her part with the right amount of both heart and the sullen moodiness you would expect from a teenager in her position. But she isn't up to how much of the acting burden she has to bear alone, because her primary costar is as emotive as an adobe clay brick hut. Seriously. Every time Arnold is asked to actually emote, the results are absurd. His laughs sound like he's in pain. His attempts at crying are absolutely laugh-inducing.  And his words of wisdom fall so short because of the maddening lack of emotion behind them. The few instances he gets to snarl and be a tough guy are the only times he is any good, which goes to show that sometimes action stars should stay just that. Myself and my friends who I watched this with basically spent the whole time shouting Arnold's most famous lines from other movies at the screen in our best impressions of him, that's how awful and boring his performance in this movie and the movie as a whole was.

And I refuse to get started on the ending because there's no way to talk about it without spoilers. Suffice to say it completely failed at anything other than thoroughly undercutting the movie as a whole. Which I suppose makes it fit in perfectly with the rest of this awful movie that gets zero stars from me.

He makes awful movies, that's what!


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