Pride and Prejudice and Zombies review
The idea of combining classic stories with monsters isn’t a bad idea. In a way, it’s almost like a fan fiction that ended up becoming popular enough to get it’s own book release. Some random ideas I’d like to throw out there include The Abominable Romeo + Juliet Yetis, The Grapes of Wrath and Cannibals, and even I Love Lucy and her Mummies. A lot of the success depends on either how seriously the situation is taken or how funny the scenario is. The one that I know that the most attention is the Seth Grahame-Smith novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which was adapted into a movie back in 2012.
What’s interesting was that the movie of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter came out at the same time when vampires were all the rage (no thanks to that Twilight series). Now zombies are “the in-monster” with The Walking Dead show still clocking in high ranking ratings. The problem now is that I’ve seen a tone of copycat zombie stories that are all about the same theme of survival. While not a bad thing, it’s popularity is going to eventually die out too unless something new is brought to the table. Here we get the newest horror/classic story mash, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
After a very fascinating opening that explains an alternative universe where a zombie outbreak is going in England, we find aristocratic Elizabeth Bennet (played by Lilly James) and her five sisters are warriors that are trained in Chinese hand-to-hand combat to fight the zombies (which has become common in this world, though the wealthiest train in Japanese arts while China is the lower tier). Her father wants them to be prepared for zombies all the time while their mother Mrs. Bennet would prefer to see her daughters married off in order to give them a chance at a normal life.
The young women attend a local ball where Elizabeth is taken notice of expert Zombie hunter Mr. Darcy (played by Sam Riley), but is turned off by his comments on how she’s unappealing to him.
Elizabeth also meets a charming and polite solider, Mr. George Wickham (played by Jack Huston) who fancies her, but has some sort of history with Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth constantly considers who the better man is for her as the zombies start to overtake the city of London, threating the extinction of humans.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has great idea and an apparently successful book to make it a hit movie, but after seeing it, I don’t get it. The story that I thought that I was going to get was going to be a lot funnier and a lot darker, full of… well, good zombie action.
It seems that director Burr Steers is more interested in telling the story of Pride and Prejudice rather then the zombie element as I found the majority of the romance incredibly boring. I’m sure that the Jane Austin story is a good one, but the performances feel too stale to create an engaging world of wealth.
Getting to the zombies, aside from constantly talking a lot about them, there not a lot of them until the climax battle in London. I kept thinking that Edger Wright or Sam Rami would have gone for a hard R rating with a lot of splatter gore, but the all too safe PG-13 insultingly eliminates what most zombie fans love; the violence. Even the zombies themselves are not the creative and rely too much on CGI to make them up. If anything, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies feels like a movie that’s four years behind on what people really want.
I’ll give this two and a half Pride and Prejudice and Zombies books out of five. Aside from feeling so pandering to teenage zombie fans, it’s a combination of ideas that never finds a middle ground. Unless if you read the book and want to compare, I’d say skip this and read the Jane Austin story on Saturday and to watch The Walking Dead on Sunday. This is barely worth a cup of tea let alone a movie ticket.