Jim Jarmusch brings art house to the zombie world with inspired(at times) but somewhat tedious The Dead Don’t Die
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
But once local news reports start to talk about the possible effects of fracking throwing the earth off its axis, extended periods of daylight become a regular thing and … Oh yeah, people start getting murdered in the most grisly of ways, it seems as if only explanation can be made: The dead are now walking the earth … And they refuse to stay dead.
Likewise, while some may revel in his apparent message of consumerism, writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s 12th feature-length film does what he traditionally has been known to do: Explore, exploit and ultimately polarize. While some will revel in the various subtle subtext exploration of the zombie genre and the roles actors play within them before suffering their ultimate fates, plenty will simply the see the film as a lot of waiting around for something to happen with a few funny moments … That ultimately ends in the same place as a majority of zombie movies but in less entertaining fashion. Yes, there will be genuinely funny moments … Coupled with a LOT of “seen this before” and “yeah, I get it but … meh” moments.
At 118 minutes in length, one could make a strong argument that cutting at least 20 of them would immensely help the film’s pacing and storytelling to make sure the audience’s enthusiasm for the story doesn’t fade. Then again, that’s not Jarmusch’s style; it’s a take the good with the bland or leave it approach. When it works, it works well to produce laughter and an appreciation for what he is trying to do; at worst, it’s just another zombie movie relying on its actors’ talents to compensate for a lack of storytelling and/or ambitious storytelling that falls short of the mark it aspires to hit. Again, this is Jarmusch’s style, so you’ll either find The Dead Don’t Die to be exactly what the zombie genre has been missing or at the very least appreciate it for what it is … Or absolutely be bored by it as much many Walking Dead fans have been with the show’s latter seasons (or that less inspired Fear the Walking Dead spinoff).
And while The Dead Don’t Die, it certainly seems like this film is ready for the genre to do so – and it’s willing to do its part to make sure that happens sooner than later.