Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Suki Waterhouse, Douglas Booth, Jack Huston, Charles Dance, Lena Headey, Matt Smith
Directed By: Burr Steers

A somewhat entertaining, somewhat frustrating film that was dismissed in theatres. Critics didn’t totally dismiss it, yet it does have a rotten score. I think the biggest problem that I have with the film was that my expectations weren’t met. I wanted a fun zombie action film, full of all the insane zombie gory fun that other recent zombie flicks have delivered on. For what it’s worth, Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse is a better zombie film than this.

Instead, we got a more plot driven zombie film, trying to hold onto some resembling factors of the original Pride and Prejudice novel. That’s fine, I don’t mind a good story, but this should have amped up the action knowing it was spending half the movie exploring romantic angles. Instead, it went the muted route and aimed for a PG-13 rating. We’ll get to that later…

So, we have a mildly entertaining film that really isn’t fun enough for me to boldly recommend you go rent immediately, but also isn’t bad enough for me to tell you not to watch it. It ends up being slightly above average, and more fun than not in the end. But, when you came home with a B on your test, you probably had parents who expected an A. I wanted an A, and I got a B. If all you wanted was a B, then you can accept this film for what it is.

Now onto the rating… PG-13. I wouldn’t want my 13 year old seeing this film, and I certainly wouldn’t want younger children seeing the film. It is a little gorier than I would like a PG-13 film, but it also would feel like a soft R rating if it was handed it. This is in part due to the lack of profanity in the film, and sexual content. The only thing this film has is violence, but it is violence that results in exploding heads, decapitations, and lots of characters with flesh falling off their faces. It’s not as violent as The Walking Dead, but it is more violent than most PG-13 movies. If parents accepted PG-13 as a narrow range, they’d be surprised to learn that this was in that range.

So, we have an above average (notice how I’m dodging the word “good” here) film that isn’t a complete waste of time that will leave you feeling fairly entertained, yet somehow still disappointed in the end result. As far as the performances go, this isn’t really a “performance” movie, but I’d say the cast does a good job. Lily James is good, but Matt Smith is probably the standout here. He’s not badass in any way in this, and it’s oddly refreshing in this cast of badassness.

Rent, if you feel like it.

FINAL GRADE: B-

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