The Dead Don’t Die (2019)
Released: June 14th, 2019
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writers: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Danny Glover, Tilda Swinton and many more
I’ve waited since Zombieland (2009) for a unique and awesome zombie movie. Based on the trailer, this certainly seemed to be the one to impress. It looks funny and entertaining in nearly every way. Sadly, it failed to deliver in the manner I was hoping, but it was far from a complete loss.
This movie had a pace of your classic zombie in that it hobbled about its various points. It takes various great ideas for a zombie movie/comedy but fails to deliver the punchlines and overall execution needed to make it thrive.
The humor is very dry and worse inconsistent. They throw a few aspects at you in the third act which I found to be completely out of place for the movies’ overall tone. There were moments where they were suggestive of certain things, but by the end, they say it point blank.
There is definitely a message in this madness, but it is not delivered as cleanly as it could be. In the end, the message feels lost and hallow. (Avatar (2009) like sanctimony)
While we have had plenty of zombie movies that are over-the-top, this is the complete opposite and it would be nice to see more emotion from the characters. I understand there is a point to this, but it makes the movie so boring. I don’t have to like a character, but at least make me care one way or another.
It has some characters that are completely wasted. Remove these characters from the movie and you have the same movie. They were wasted and a complete disappointment.
It can not live up to the greatness of its trailer which unfortunately not only spoils some great moments but also leads to something more than we get.
First off, Tilda Swinton steals this movie from everyone, especially at the end. There are a couple of jokes within this that are spectacular. Even beyond Swinton, when jokes land correctly, they are beautiful and funny. Yes, I mentioned awkward humor in this movie, but the jokes aren’t bad, just out of place.
The film definitely isn’t going to impress mainstream audiences, but it understands this and uses it to its advantage several times in the movie.
Bill Murray and Adam Driver work well as the two main police officers. I like how they play off one another in the film. Both are low-energy performances, but they are enjoyable.
Perhaps what I like most about this film is that it has a sense of quality to it. That despite its flaws, you can tell the writing and direction are next-level. That the people in this movie and working on this film know how to make above-average films. The signs are all there, even if they don’t always reach their target.
I love the cinematography, the atmosphere of the film, and even its unique score.
Sadly, I found The Dead Don’t Die to be very slow and disappointing in many ways. The film definitely displays talent in its directing, script, and acting, but it seems to suffer from an identity crisis. For a zombie film, there is a lot worse, but this had all the makings of a movie that never delivered on its potential.
The Zombie Ladder (Rob Zombie not included)
The Night of the Living Dead (1968)
28 Days Later (2002)
Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Zombi 2 (1979)
The Return of the Living Dead 2 (1988)
The Dead Don’t Die (2018)
World War Z (2013)
Dawn of the Dead (1989)
I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
The Plague of Zombies (1966)