Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these flesh eating monsters.
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.
Ana goes home to her peaceful suburban residence, but she is unpleasantly surprised the morning that follows when her husband is brutally attacked by her zombified neighbor. In the chaos of her once picturesque neighborhood, Ana flees and stumbles upon a police officer named Kenneth, along with more survivors who decide that their best chances of survival would be found in the deserted Crossroads Shopping Mall. When supplies begin running low and other trapped survivors need help, the group comes to the realization that they cannot stay put forever at the Shopping Mall, and devise a plan to escape. Written by
As a HUGE fan of the original Dawn of the Dead I was very skeptical of this remake. I wasn't expecting an Academy Award winning blockbuster or anything, but I did want to see the remake do the original justice. I was impressed with the filming more than anything. This is an action movie rather than horror. The outdoor scenes are filmed with a grainy, hand-held camera which gave the audience the feeling of being disoriented much the same way the characters would have felt. The movie was not made in the MTV-generation style that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake was. Dawn of the Dead stuck to the same mythology of the first without giving it a complete reimagining. I could imagine the two movies co-existing, but in different parts of the world.
One of the key differences that I did like was the idea of the zombies running. This made them come across as more menacing rather than being the slow clunkers that are seen in the original trilogy. The idea of being able to walk right past them was abandoned. I also feel that the movie did a good job of showing how quickly people would turn on one another and watch out for themselves only.
One of my favorite "realisms" of the movie is how the characters are too attached to their loved ones to shot them when they become zombies. I'm certain that many of us would react in the same manner if something like this were to actually happen (yes, I know it's impossible). Also, it was interesting to have so many people make it to the mall instead of only four as in the original. Of course some of these characters fit the generic stereotype of a movie such as this, but I'm not surprised considering modern audiences would need such characters to maintain their interest. This was a movie made for film viewers, not film makers. We have the strong and silent male hero, the quick-thinking blond heroine, the official dumb jerk, the official slut, the young and naive girl who loses everything and needs the group's protection, the angry challenger for group leadership who has a change of heart and becomes heroic, the young trainee who disagrees with the angry challenger yet follows due to a sense of duty, and the stupid follower who gets his comeuppence.
One aspect that was missing from this remake was the original movie's social commentary on the commercialism of people. Ken Foree's character of Peter mentioned this in the original whereas Ving Rhames' Kenneth was more of a silent action hero never having much to say. This was another reason that I saw this as a simple action movie -- though I will say that Rhames has more acting ability than Governor Schwarzenegger, Sly, Seagal and Van Damme combined. Rhames also LOOKS like an action hero rather than today's prettyboy "action heroes" such as Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage and Keanu Reeves -- who all look like they couldn't fight their way out of a cooking class for senior citizens.
All in all this movie was not better than the original and won't be nominated for any Academy Awards, but if you're looking for entertainment and can stomach the blood it's worth checking out. I can't wait to buy it on DVD someday.
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